Town Planning Board approves permit for 100-acre athletic complex off Route 20

Public opposition grows as plan moves another step closer to fruition

A map of the proposed new VSM athletic complex

A map of the proposed new VSM athletic complex

— Molnar gave a brief history of the planning board’s work on the project, which included numerous submissions of information and plans by VSM Enterprises, multiple planning board requests for additional information or clarifications and the submission of the full site plans by VSM to the board this past August, with supplemental materials submitted in September.

The Oct. 16 planning board meeting was for the SEQR review, which is a state-mandated consideration of environmental impacts equally with social and economic factors during discretionary decision-making. If an action is determined not to have significant adverse environmental impacts, a determination of nonsignificance (Negative Declaration) is prepared. If an action is determined to have potentially significant adverse environmental impacts, an “Environmental Impact Statement” is required.

Responding to planning board members’ questions, VSM officials and representatives said construction would take more than one year, the anticipated power load for the complex would have no impact on current town utility systems, the typical heavy metal runoff from turf fields (such as zinc and lead) into the local water drainage district would be monitored and ameliorated using best practices, the outdoor PA systems to announce athletic games will be aimed at the spectators, or “distributed,” to help contain the sound and the athletic fields will be used year-round in accordance with favorable weather.

While the project planner from edr companies said the project would be constructed in only one phase of work, VSM Chief Operating Officer Lance Wardell later in the meeting said the project would be built in three phases. Planning board members did not ask for clarification on the apparent inconsistency.

As planning board attorney Molnar went through the SEQR checklist, the planning board members answered ‘yes’ on whether the project would: physically change the project site; effect water quality or quantity; effect aesthetic resources; impact the historical, architectural or paleontological aspects of the site; cause objectionable noise, vibrations or odors; effect existing transportation systems; and effect the character of the surrounding community.

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