Reviewing environmental impacts of the proposed Hillside Commons will continue tonight, the Oneonta Planning Commission chairman said.
But he wasn’t certain if materials would be in order for a vote on the developer’s project.
Newman Development Group of Vestal has proposed building Hillside Commons, a four-story, 330-bed apartment complex for full-time college students, on Blodgett Drive.
Planners will meet in Common Council Chambers at City Hall at 7 p.m. In recent weeks, they have been reviewing an Environmental Assessment Form in a mandated State Environmental Quality Review of the proposed development.
The commission, which is lead agency for the review, awaits word on whether the Otsego County Planning Department opposes the project before voting on the SEQR for Hillside Commons.
Planning Chairman Dennis Finn said Tuesday night that he hadn’t received notice from the county and would be checking at City Hall and with the city attorney today.
The proposed private development is near the State University College at Oneonta campus. The project has drawn mixed reviews from residents, business owners and landlords, with concerns ranging from storm water drainage to impact on the student housing rental market and economy.
Also pending is Newman Development Group’s application for a tax abatement agreement with Otsego County, a proposal to which the Oneonta Common Council has given a green light.
In the SEQR process, the Planning Commission must decide on whether the project potentially will have a significant adverse environmental impact. If the commission’s answer is “yes,” which is a “positive declaration,” an environmental impact statement to consider impacts, alternatives and mitigation must be completed.
If the commission makes a “negative declaration,” planners may go on to consider the developer’s site plan application for the project.
Jeffrey Smetana, a vice president with Newman Development, has said the group would like to begin construction this summer with plans for occupancy for the fall 2014 term.