Saratoga County

Developers propose public park on river

As a compromise on zoning issues, developers of the proposed Halfmoon Village and Yacht Club on Beac

As a compromise on zoning issues, developers of the proposed Halfmoon Village and Yacht Club on Beach Road have agreed to construct a public park along the Mohawk River to be deeded to the town upon completion.

The park will include a boat launch, fishing pier and small parking lot. It also will connect to the town’s existing Crescent multiuse trail, which is proposed to be extended along Towpath Road. Additional land will be bought and given to the town as open space.

These recreation plans were in the developers’ Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project, which the Town Board deemed complete at its June 1 meeting. The project now moves to the Planning Board for a recommendation.

Town Supervisor Mindy Wormuth said although the assessment was considered to be complete, that doesn’t necessarily mean the town will approve the project, which proposes a 244-unit condominium development on the Mohawk River.

“We just agreed all the information was addressed that needed to be,” she said.

Wormuth said other environmental assessments had been submitted in the past, but the Town and Planning boards felt a number of issues were not addressed in those documents. She said the assessment now includes information about the canal dredging, the impact on traffic and road congestion, sewer issues, public access to the project and an emergency evacuation plan.

The Town Board considered these issues important because residents voiced their concerns about them at a comment period in May, she said. The Planning Board now will conduct a full review and make a recommendation on the environmental study.

The project has been in the works since 2003, and engineers have said they hope to get all the development’s plans approved by 2014.

Gail and Gary Krause own the property, which is currently Krause’s Grove.

Senior Planner Jeff Williams said he is unsure how long it will take the Planning Board to review the assessment. “At this point we have to look at whether it’s a feasible and good project for the town,” he said. The next Planning Board meeting is June 27.

Williams said the developers at Chazen Companies in Troy have asked to speak at the meeting to bring the Planning Board “up to speed” on the project, because it’s been so long since the last time they met.

“It’s a pretty significant milestone for us,” said John Montagne, vice president of land development services at Chazen Co.

Wormuth said part of the reason the project has taken so long to move forward is because the plans have changed several times over the past eight years.

“Every time [Gail Krause] switched engineers, the project would change,” said Wormuth. “From what she tells us, there are already people on waiting lists to get into this place.”

The plans call for the construction of six buildings and extensive landscaping. The condo buildings would be either two, three or four stories with parking space beneath. The two- and three-bedroom units would range from 1,400 to 2,200 square feet.

A Department of Environmental Conservation permit application submitted earlier in the year included plans to build the public park with a fishing pier and a canoe/kayak launch.

The Krauses have requested permission to dredge 55,000 cubic yards of sediment out of a 7.3-acre section of the Mohawk River and build a 75-slip docking facility and observation pier. The DEC permit application also seeks to remove invasive water chestnuts from a 13.4-acre area on the Mohawk.

If the Planning Board recommendations are positive, the town would need to rezone the property before plans are approved.

The Krauses could not be reached for comment for this story.

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