Well testing starts on Terramor property and surrounding neighbors – Plus catch-up on other matters

On Monday October 17th, Terramor started testing the first of three proposed wells on their site. They also started testing 4 or 5 wells on surrounding properties. Tests had originally been scheduled for 24 hours, but after input from a hydrologist (whose letter you can see below), the time span was expanded to 72 hours.

Terramor’s testing of neighbor wells is not required by any regulation of the state, Ulster County, or the Town of Saugerties. Results from these test will be shared with the NYSDOH, the Town, and the neighbors. Tests are done to find out in what ways the pumping of the Terramor wells might affect nearby wells. The technology used is “sonic water level meter” and readings are to be taken every two hours. As the hydrologist’s letter points out, this form of testing is sub-optimal. Thus, several neighbor well will also be monitored using a more precise transducer system, and readings take every five minutes. It is possible that the Planning Board ot the DOH may require further testing later.

Here is the copy of the letter sent by the hydrologist to KOA/Terramor and the Planning Board:

If you cannot see the embed above, here is a .pdf of the letter: 2022-10-04-Hydrologist-Letter-Terramor-Aquifer-Test-Recommendations

A note about one particular claim from the developers’ response to NPV comments – With history and links
This letter was sent to the Planning Board on September 29th 2022. It lays out the shortcomings of one particular part of Terramor’s response to the Planning Board’s consultant’s (NPV) comments on the initial submission.

— letter starts —
September 29 2022

For distribution to the Public file and members of the Saugerties Planning Board

Members of the Planning Board,
I write with a note about one specific paragraph in the LA Group/Terramor August 1st response to NPV’s July 11th comments.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gttGf_uZuZyJn55QLDcL2RiI8IKfJ3eT/view?usp=sharing (OR: https://bit.ly/Terramor-response-to-NPV)

As part of the developers’ August 1st response to NPV comments they write:

(NPV comment bottom of page 4)

f. (s) Nuisances. The proposed use shall not be more objectionable to nearby property owners or occupants by reason of noise, fumes, vibration or lighting than would be the operations of a permitted use.

LA Group/Terramor response top of page 5:

With the provision of central water and sewer like the proposed facility, giving consideration to development constraints posed by the presence of wetlands and steeper slopes on the property, and considering that the original proposal for the South Peak subdivision on the property contained 43 single family homes, the Applicant estimates that the site appears capable of supporting approximately 50-60 single family homes. Each of these homes would have their own associated noise, fumes, vibration and lighting.

This paragraph is both artfully worded and elides historical facts:

1)The South Peak project was originally proposed as 41 lots (August 2004) – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KLAkTYyd6_A09JoEB95BzSdtLLxd-txY/view?usp=sharing (OR https://bit.ly/South-Peak-original-41-lot-drawing)

2) The Conditional Final grant was for 23 lots (April 2007) https://drive.google.com/file/d/10g0QTKxRClLANjOgrLOZYZFFNOPlNwww/view?usp=sharing (OR https://bit.ly/South-Peak-Conditional-Final)

3) And the final design was for 22 lots (May 2011) https://drive.google.com/file/d/1K0qq-gmrzf4nIUBJ39V4592XzhBQvOJm/view?usp=sharing (OR https://bit.ly/South-Peak-UCDH-22-lots)

During this years-long process the Board repeatedly noted the extreme difficulty of the land, the UCDH granted permits for 18 septics (later increased to 22 by dint of redrawing lot lines), and there were countless other revisions along the way.

To now claim that “the site appears capable of supporting approximately 50-60 single family homes” is preposterous. I can imagine the Board laughing harder at this claim than they did when first Mr. Rothe proposed 41 lots back in 2004. Building techniques may well have improved, but not that much. Indeed, our standards for roads, wells, septics and the like have probably gotten tighter over the years, making the 50 to 60 figure even sillier.

While I am confident that members of the Board with long memories will have picked up on the ridiculousness of this particular LA Group/Terramor claim, I wanted to bring special attention to it. Board members will have to decide for themselves to what extent this puffery speaks to the credibility of other LA Group/Terramor responses to the NPV comments.

Thanks for your efforts and for your time.


Mark Pisani
— letter ends —
Here is a .pdf of the letter: A note about one particular claim from the developers’ response to NPV comments – With history and links

There were no other submissions in the public file as of October 17th, 2022. Terramor did not come up at the October 18th Planning Board meeting.

Added a simple page to the site with instructions on how to write a letter about the Terramor Catskills Development.

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