Scaled-down plan calls for 999 Sullivan homes

Scaled-down plan calls for 999 Sullivan homes




Times Herald-Record
September 18, 2007
Wurtsboro — A Monroe developer says he's pressing forward with a plan to build nearly 1,000 homes in Mamakating and Thompson, plus an industrial park.
Simon Gelb now says he's going to build 649 homes in Mamakating and 350 homes in Thompson in his proposed Kingwood subdivision about two miles from Exit 112.
That's a substantial reduction from his original proposal of 2,000 homes. It still would be one of the largest subdivision plans in the county. At full build-out, the equivalent of a village would rise in a three-mile area of what's currently an undeveloped forest between Rock Hill and Wurtsboro.
"There is a concern," Thompson Town Councilman Bill Rieber said. "It is a major development with regional significance."
Initially, Gelb had planned homes in the Town of Fallsburg as well, but his revised plans don't call for any at this time.
Gelb has presented plans to Thompson and Mamakating's planning boards. Both municipalities are fighting over who will be the lead agency in an environmental review. The commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation will likely determine this month who gets to lead the study.
"I am looking forward to the environmental review process and hearing the concerns of the community," Gelb said. "The project will preserve very substantial amounts of open space and provide very significant new commercial tax ratables, as well as a significant number of new jobs for local residents, so the project will be an asset to the local community." <!-- D(["mb","u003c/div>u003cdiv>Environmentalists say the project is too big, and could potentially do harm to the protected Basha Kill preserve.u003c/div>u003cdiv>"The Basha Kill (Area Association) has been closely monitoring this for a couple of years," Basha Kill Area Association President Paula Medley said.u003c/div>u003cdiv>Gelb would build a water and sewer treatment plant. He would develop 724 acres of the 1,830 acres that he owns. That would leave 1,106 acres of open space, of which 309 acres are wetlands. Aside from the homes, Gelb would built a light industrial park on 222 acres in Mamakating.u003c/div>u003cdiv>"Whether it is 1,000 or 700, it is subdivision sprawl in the Catskills," said Mort Starobin, a Manhattan developer who has a summer home in an enclave of historic homes called Mamakating Park Historic District. Those 40 homes and Camp Lacota abut the proposed development.u003c/div>u003cdiv>"If we lose this one, we are not going to stay in the area," Starobin said. "If we want subdivision sprawl with the taxes, we will move closer to the cityu003c/div>u003c/div>",1] ); //-->
Environmentalists say the project is too big, and could potentially do harm to the protected Basha Kill preserve.
"The Basha Kill (Area Association) has been closely monitoring this for a couple of years," Basha Kill Area Association President Paula Medley said.
Gelb would build a water and sewer treatment plant. He would develop 724 acres of the 1,830 acres that he owns. That would leave 1,106 acres of open space, of which 309 acres are wetlands. Aside from the homes, Gelb would built a light industrial park on 222 acres in Mamakating.
"Whether it is 1,000 or 700, it is subdivision sprawl in the Catskills," said Mort Starobin, a Manhattan developer who has a summer home in an enclave of historic homes called Mamakating Park Historic District. Those 40 homes and Camp Lacota abut the proposed development.
"If we lose this one, we are not going to stay in the area," Starobin said. "If we want subdivision sprawl with the taxes, we will move closer to the city

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