GHENT – The town Planning Board met last week in its regular session and discussed the proposed Price Chopper building and a plan for a surface mine.
The board was supposed to have a public hearing about the proposal for a new Price Chopper supermarket on Route 66 at the July 6 meeting, but Price Chopper postponed the hearing due to issues with the state environmental quality review, or SEQR, application. Representatives from the company told the Columbia Paper they plan to be in front of the board again soon.
The Village of Chatham Planning Board sent a letter to its Ghent counterpart asking for that the village be named lead agency for the review. Ghent Planning Board President Jonathan Walters told the members of his board that they had already asked for lead agency status on the project and were granted it by the village.
“We have a letter from the previous Village Board accepting our request,” Mr. Walters said, referring to a change in make-up of the current Chatham Planning Board. A new chairperson and two other members were named to the village Planning Board after the village elections in March.
“It is an issue that has already been decided,” said Town Lawyer Ted Guterman. He and other members of the board pointed out that the majority of the proposed market would be in the town, not the village. “These are all basic Town of Ghent issues,” Mr. Guterman said of the project.
Bill Better, a local lawyer for the company that owns the plaza in the Village of Chatham that houses the current Price Chopper supermarket, attended the meeting to urge the Ghent board to look at the new plans for the Price Chopper building, saying that the plans have changed since the board received them in April.
Mitchell Khosrova, a lawyer for Price Chopper, said that there were some additions to the plans but that they remain substantially the same.
The board plans to send a letter to Chatham about the lead status for the SEQR review. If the two municipalities cannot come to an agreement on which should be the lead, the commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation will decide.
Also at the meeting the board heard from neighbors on Carpenter Road about a landowner’s plans to mine gravel as the landowner builds a pond on the property. The neighbors have been worried about the trucks driving up the road and drainage issues caused by the project. They also worried that the owners would not be home to supervise the project.
The board plans to hold a special meeting in late July to look at more information from the neighbors before making a decision.
The next regular board meeting will be Wednesday, August 3 at 7pm in the Ghent Town Hall.