Carvel DEIS ready for the public; hearings set


PINE PLAINS -After nearly five years, the Planning Board has officially approved the Carvel Draft Environmental Impact Statement [DEIS] for public viewing at Wednesday night's board meeting.


After months of meeting with Carvel representatives over completeness issues in the DEIS, including debating over site archeological studies, the board agreed that the DEIS is satisfactory for public review.

"A milestone has been reached," Planning Board Chairman Don Bartles said after the board signed the resolution making the DEIS public. "We have been working on this since 2003."

If the project is approved, it will add 951 homes to the town, which will be built over 2,200 acres of land purchased by real estate developer Douglas Durst in 2003.

Of that land, 1,772 acres are located in Pine Plains, the 428 remaining acres in neighboring Milan.

The initial preliminary version of the DEIS was submitted to the Planning Board on June 28, 2005, and was determined incomplete by the board.

In a previous interview, Chazen Companies principal Daniel Stone said the plan calls for 951 units, which includes 563 single-family homes.

Ross Williams, ex-officio member of the Pine Plains Planning Board from Milan, suggested that Chazen Companies representatives hold informational sessions separate from the public hearings given the enormous amount of information about the project in the DEIS.

"My concern is with five CDs and a large volume of material, people are going to come to these hearings and they're really not going to be prepared to make comments," Williams said. "It just seems to me that it would be helpful to the applicant for presentations to be made."

Stone said the company prepared a one-hour detailed presentation of the project for the first public hearing. After some discussion, Stone said the same presentation will also be made during the hearing in Milan.

Town Planner Nan Stolzenburg told the board that she is satisfied with the DEIS.

"We feel that changes recently made in the last week or so clarifies more of the regulatory phasing," Stolzenburg said. "We'll see if there are any substantive issues that come up during the public sessions, but I'm satisfied and comfortable with it."

Stolzenburg said that the changes made to chapter two of the DEIS, which describes the project's regulatory phasing, included the addition of a chart recognizing Milan's wetlands law and a chart detailing what kind of permits will be needed by project phase.

"It makes clear what will be happening in each stage of the project," she said.

The public hearings are scheduled for: Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. at Stissing Mountain High School, Friday, Feb. 29 at 7 p.m. at Stissing Mountain High School, Thursday, March 6 at 5 p.m. at Milan Town Hall and Wednesday, March 12 at 7 p.m. at Stissing Mountain High School.

The DEIS will be available for public viewing at: Pine Plains Town Hall, Milan Town Hall, The Pine Plains Free Library and the Carvel Country Club Clubhouse. It will also be available online at

In an interview after the meeting, Jordan Barowitz, director of external affairs for The Durst Organization, said the company will set up two phone hotlines where residents can leave questions about the DEIS: 518-398-111 or 845-306-5710. The company will also accept questions by e-mail at

"We think the hearing went well," Barowitz said. "We are very pleased that the Planning Board approved the DEIS."

In a press release sent via e-mail, Alexander Durst wrote that the company wants to move the project forward.

"We look forward to an informed and constructive hearing process," Durst stated. "Now that the public comment period has begun, we want to provide as much information and solicit as many comments from the public as possible."

In the press release, Barowitz wrote that, at the conclusion of the 10-year build out, the development will generate $7.2 million annually in tax revenue for the Pine Plains School district, $2.4 million for the town of Pine Plains, $100,000 for the town of Milan, $365,000 for the fire districts of both towns and $1.9 million for Dutchess County. He added that the project will create 130 construction jobs per year and 90 permanent jobs.

Meanwhile, written comments about the DEIS may be submitted to the Planning Board until Saturday, April 12, to 3284 Route199, PO Box 955, Pine Plains, NY 12567.

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: cheltenham light dtc"after nearly five years, the planning board has officially approved the carvel draft environmental impact statement [deis] for public viewing at wednesday night's board meeting.>

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