Kingston senior housing project won’t harm environment, panel reaffirms – The Daily Freeman

KINGSTON, N.Y. — A nine-year-old determination that the proposed Kingston Meadows senior housing project behind the Best Western Plus hotel on Washington Avenue will have no significant negative environmental impacts has been reaffirmed by city planners.

During a virtual meeting Tuesday, the city Planning Board unanimously adopted a resolution stating that the negative declaration issued for the project on Jan. 14, 2013, under the state Environmental Quality Review Act was still valid. That determination allows the developers, Hudson Valley Housing Development Fund Co., to proceed with a request for an easement from Ulster County over the county-owned U&D Railroad corridor.

The easement is necessary for the developers to be able to access the property via an entry to be created off of Hurley Avenue.

Project attorney Javid Afzali said the easement is currently being considered by the county and would be the subject of a public hearing.

“Obviously, they can’t make a decision until SEQRA is updated,” Afzali added. “So this is the threshold step that we have to take.” He said once the city Planning Board has affirmed the prior state Environmental Quality Review Act decision it will give the county the tools it needs to make a decision on the easement. If that crossing is granted, then the developers will return to the city board to proceed with the site plan approval process, Afzali said.

Kingston Meadows is proposed to comprise 58 one-bedroom apartments and two two-bedroom units. It has been before the city Planning Board since at least 2011.

The housing is to serve persons 55 and older.

City Planner Suzanne Cahill said Afzali also submitted a legal analysis of the project and how it might have been impacted by the city’s comprehensive plan and Open Space Plan, which were adopted in recent years. She said the city’s assistant corporation counsel reviewed that submission and “concurred with the conclusions that the applicant’s attorney brought forth that this is consistent with the comprehensive plan, as well as the Open Space Plan.” Cahill said city officials also reviewed an area variance that had previously been granted for the project and determined it also to still be valid.