Prendergast responded to comments from John Lyons, the environmental attorney representing the citizens' group Hudson for Hudson, by dismissing the documentation presented by Lyons about the increase in industrial activity since Colarusso acquired the property from Holcim in 2014 as "a misrepresentation that confused a lot of people."
The greater part of the meeting was taken up with Part 2 of the Full Environmental Assessment Form--Identification of Potential Project Impacts. Jurkowski began by explaining that Part 1 was prepared by the applicant, and Part 2 was the responsibility of the Planning Board. He then led the board through every item in the eighteen categories on the form, omitting the detailed questions for only three: Impact of Geological Features, Impact on Air, and Impact on Agricultural Resources. For each item, the board had the choice of responding "No, or small impact may occur" or "Moderate to large impact may occur." For every item, the board opted for the former: "No, or small impact may occur." The responses to several of the items--particularly in the categories of Impact on Aesthetic Resources, Impact on Open Space and Recreation, and Consistency with Community Plans--drew subtle negative reactions from the Hudsonians in the audience. When the board answered "No" to the statement "Projected traffic increase may exceed capacity of existing road network," an audience member muttered, "Broad Street." When the board answered "No" to the statement "The proposed action will degrade existing transit access," the same audience member said incredulously, "Twenty trains a day?" He was reprimanded for interrupting the proceedings. Planning Board chair Ed Stiffler told the audience, "As the project moves forward, there are mandatory public hearings," but he asserted this was a working session. The public was allowed to observe but not comment.
When the board had completed Part 2 of the EAF, Virginia Benedict, counsel to the Greenport Planning Board, said she wanted the minutes to reflect that all members of the board had been present at the special informational meeting held on April 18 and all of them had reviewed all the comments received.
The board then agreed that Benedict would prepare a resolution based on the answers given on the EAF and another for the opposing position. The resolutions, which will determine if the Greenport Planning Board makes a positive or negative declaration about the proposed project in the SEQRA process, will be voted on at the Greenport Planning Board's regular meeting to take place on Tuesday, July 25, at 7:30 p.m.
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