MILTON — A proposal to build more than two dozen single-family homes on Greenfield Avenue has some of the residents living nearby up in arms.
Numerous local residents have complained that the proposed new neighborhood on a cul-de-sac would encroach upon their property boundaries, disturb surrounding wildlife, and pose big challenges to public safety because of the addition of traffic in the neighborhood that would have just one way in and out.
The project proposed by Cottage Hill Town Homes at 240 Greenfield Ave. goes in front of the Planning Board on Wednesday night, the continuation of a review and public hearing that was adjourned in December.
The project area consists of a nearly 19-acre parcel on the east side of Greenfield Avenue between Northline Road and Geyser Road. Its current zoning is for single family homes.
According to project plans submitted to the town by Environmental Design Partnership of Clifton Park on behalf of Cottage Hill Town Homes, the developer wants to build 27 new homes that would connect to public water from Heritage Spring Water Works and public sewer from Saratoga County.
The proposed development would be serviced by a public road with a cul-de-sac. This development would collect and treat storm water on the premises.
In October, the board signed off on a waiver to the town requirement that proposed subdivisions of 20 or more lots have at least two connections with existing public streets.
The applicant said the project site’s topography, access points, location, shape, size, drainage and other physical features presented a hardship to that requirement.
The board also voted that the project would not result in any significant adverse impacts on the environment, and letters from Community Emergency Corps and Ballston Spa Fire Department indicated neither agency had a concern with providing emergency responses to the cul-de-sac.
But Dan Penny of Woodland Court said the “mass construction” project would result in having three homes near their otherwise private backyard. Penny also said the 27 homes could adversely affect the wells of current homeowners, and exacerbate other problems associated with flooding, storm water, traffic, lack of a buffer, and encroachment on wildlife. Penny said there should be a legal binding agreement for the builder to be financially responsible for any adverse changes to the neighbors’ private wells.
Penny also noted his 37-year association with the New York State Police. He said he’s responded to many incidents over the years, and suggested putting 27 houses on a street that only has one way in and one way out represented a safety issue.
Another project opponent, Leigh Keneston of Birchtree Lane, said she resides close to the proposed development.
Keneston said the developer’s land surveyor placed new property stakes six feet onto her property.
“The new survey is encroaching across our property line and, undoubtedly, every single home on Birchtree Lane,” Keneston said in written remarks to the board.
Judith A. Snyder of Woodland Court said the development would have a detrimental effect on her family’s quality of life. She said the private wells in the neighborhood are only 50 feet to 80 feet deep, and the project’s excavation could have an impact.
Reiterating Penny’s concerns, Snyder said: “There should be an agreement that will hold the builder/developer financially responsible should our wells and water be compromised in any way resulting from the construction of the proposed 27 unit development.”
Snyder also said the construction of 27 units would result in the existing adjacent homes on Woodland Court having two or three homes bordering their property boundaries, resulting in a loss of privacy.
She estimated the cost of privacy fencing along the back of her property could cost us approximately $12,000 if not more.
Penny said the applicant should have to pay for their privacy fencing.
Snyder also suggested the new neighborhood would add to existing traffic congestion during peak travel times at the intersections of Greenfield Avenue and Northline Road, Rowland Street and Northline Road and Northline Road and Route 50.
The parcel is currently inhabited by various wildlife, including but not limited to deer, wild turkey, fox, owls, hawks and a variety of bird species, Snyder said. Many of these use this area as a place for their habitats and as a pathway between the Nature Preserve.
“Loss of this greenspace would be unfortunate,” she said.
The developer bought the parcel in 2018 for $418,000.
Contact reporter Brian Lee at [email protected] or 5184199766.