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Local News

April 11, 2013

Water at issue in Blodgett project

Locals question city, project leaders


Officials from Keystone Associates, engineering firm for Newman Development, and from Delaware Engineering, hired by the city of Oneonta to conduct an independent review of the plans, spoke during the first hour of the meeting and answered planners’ questions. Jeffrey Smetana, a vice president with Newman Development, and Michael Long, city manager, also fielded questions.

Planning Commission Chairman Dennis Finn said details reviewed Wednesday night, along with residents’ comments, will give perspective to data that planners will consider in the weeks ahead. 

Newman Development seeks site plan approval from the commission, which has declared itself lead agency in the mandated State Environmental Quality Review.

Planners’ regular monthly meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, at Oneonta High School. The meeting will include time for public comment, Finn said, and planners will consider if the developer’s application is compete. 

After the application is deemed complete, planners have 62 days to decide whether to make a “negative declaration’’ that the proposed project won’t result in any significant adverse environmental impacts, city officials said.

A public hearing on the SEQR application has been tentatively set for May 1 if the application is deemed complete, Long said. 

The site of the proposed project is about 14 acres, Smetana said, and a little less then half of the lot will remain undeveloped and “forever wild.’’ Engineers studied drainage and geology of about 65 acres in the vicinity of the project area, he said, and the proposed development will improve storm water drainage for about 20 acres.

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