Holcombville residents raise red flags about Tall Timbers

NORTH CREEK A group of residents said they are concerned about the impact of the proposed Tall Timbers development on their historic Holcombville neighborhood.
Specifically, residents said, the increased traffic along East Holcomb Road and River Road will disrupt their quiet residential neighborhoods. Group spokesman Lyle Dye presented the Town Board with a petition bearing more than 50 names Tuesday asking the board to intervene.
Developers of Tall Timbers are proposing to transform a 100-acre parcel adjacent to the airport into a mixed-use residential resort property with more than 40 homes, a hotel, a restaurant, shops and a conference center.
Theyre pushing the fly-in, fly-out angle, Dye said. My personal feeling is that these people have no feeling for our community. Theyre moving in and taking over. And most people arent aware of it.
Dye said the increased traffic could force people to move rather than deal with the dangers the traffic would bring.
Both are old time residential districts, Dye said in a phone interview. If they bring that kind of traffic through here, well all have to sell and leave because well be living on a major highway.
Dye said the roads in the neighborhood arent designed to handle the volume of traffic that a major development would bring and he and others are concerned that River Road is being proposed as primary access to the development and that East Holcomb Road is being proposed as secondary access.
The road isnt wide enough, Dye said. Its 18 to 22 feet wide. There are no shoulders. Peoples property comes down to the road. Theres a group home, a blind man, dozens of children, dozens of dog walkers. That theyre proposing to use this road, thats my concern.
Developers originally said theyd incorporate crash gates into the exits from the development onto East Holcomb Road so that only emergency vehicles would use the road to access the development, Dye said.
But at the last Planning Board meeting, they said theyd changed their minds and would instead put up signs, Dye said. What are signs going to do?
The Tall Timbers development is currently under review by both the Johnsburg Planning Board and the Adirondack Park Agency. Both must give it their blessing before the proposal can become a reality.
The challenges presented by developments like Tall Timbers have pushed town leaders to force developers to work with the town to mitigate the potential impact of the proposed developments.
In the case of the Tall Timbers, the town has negotiated an agreement to require Tall Timbers to bring two wells online with the town water system. The town would receive the excess capacity generated by the wells. The wells are capable of producing twice the amount needed for Tall Timbers, meaning the town would benefit from approximately 40,000 additional gallons per day capacity from the two wells.
In addition, the wells tap into a different aquifer, thereby providing the town an additional water source should another aquifer become contaminated or otherwise unavailable.
The main thing is we need to protect our resources and find some balance so we dont lose the reasons that make it so we all want to live here, said Town Board Member Sterling Goodspeed during a recent interview.
Still, Dye said, the Tall Timbers development is different from others being proposed for the town such as Front Street.
Front Street is different, Dye said. Thats not nearly as disruptive because its not being proposed for an existing neighborhood. With Tall Timbers, if this goes forward, Holcombville will be wiped out. Were enormously concerned.

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