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Planning Board vote near on Ward Hill subdivision

— The Johnsburg Planning Board ended public comment on the much-discussed Ward Hill Subdivision proposal Monday, June 25 but deferred action on the plan until its July meeting to allow board members time to craft a draft decision regarding the project.

The 12-lot subdivision of more than 200 acres off of Peaceful Valley Road near Iroquois Trail and Chatiemac Trail has dominated the discussion at Planning Board meetings for five months as the Planning Board and project engineer James Easton worked through a host of issues. Initially, those living near the proposed project showed up en masse at Planning Board meetings to voice their concerns. Little by little, as the board worked through the issues worked to address residents’ concerns, the crowds diminished.

Monday, three residents appeared to voice their comments during the final public comment period before the months-long public hearing closed.

Stuart Hudnut wanted assurance that septic fields in the subdivision met the required minimum setbacks from streams and other natural water elements. They do.

Bob Bishoff wanted to reaffirm that there would be no blasting as part of the project construction. Easton confirmed that plans called for no blasting.

If, after getting into the project, crews discover a need for blasting, the developer will need to reappear before the Planning Board to get permission.

Ellen Smith wanted to make sure that the Planning Board incorporates residents’ concerns into its approval, including mention of the promise of no blasting, the septic field setbacks from the stream and some mention of noise restrictions in the form of hours of day crews would be allowed to work.

“Put it in writing,” Smith said.

After some discussion, Planning Board Chair Dottie Osterhout proposed deferring a decision until the board’s July meeting so that board members Roger Smith and Janet Konis could create a written resolution spelling out the conditions of approval for the project. The board informally agreed, and no vote was taken.

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