Mega-trucking warehouse/mega problems
I live in Gardiner and was shocked to learn of the possible inappropriate intrusion of a trucking mega-warehouse in an area that already has so much more traffic than when I first arrived here 50 years ago. It is impossible to imagine the outlandish thinking of someone (and he is local) who wants to put a project like this adjacent to a road that is narrow and used by locals to shop, to work, to visit and to do the everyday driving we have to do in a semi-rural area.
This project belongs near a thruway. It is fraught with dangerous possibilities — noise and air pollution, accidents, quality of living issues, environmental disasters and a host of other issues that are avoided when a truck leaves a major highway and has a depot near the exit or entrance. It will impact towns in a big radius from the development since trucks get off the Thruway in New Paltz, Newburgh and Kingston. They also exit 84 and 17 and a host of other roads this warehouse will serve.
I drive on 44-55 to go shopping and I cannot imagine what it will be like with 18-wheelers coming toward me on an already-narrow and hilly road. What if two trucks are trying to make turns at the same time as they come from the east or west. How will they make seamless turns on this road; how will they negotiate some of the turns on Route 32 coming from the thruway; and how will they brake going down hills or if an oncoming car swerves slightly. How will trucks who are coming over the mountain on 44-55 going east to the site negotiate the tight turns on this route in the Town of Gardiner. Our roads already have had too many deaths.
This is a nightmare waiting to happen. I hope Plattekill has the foresight to oppose it before too much in our area is sacrificed to this ill-thought-out project. It must not happen. It has no place in a rural area. This project will impact our lives and our environment. Shame on the developers who put profit above their neighbors.
Do not build the mega warehouse in Modena
While we are sympathetic to the property owner of 2021 Route 44/55 who wants to capitalize on the land by selling it, this warehouse development would be very damaging to the immediate community as well as the surrounding villages and towns.
A few facts on the impact of this project as currently proposed:
• The roads and traffic impact: Route 44/55 is a narrow two-lane road with no shoulder to buttress the traffic from homes. This road would not be able to support the steady truck traffic to the warehouse. There are no major roads leading to the proposed warehouse. The traffic impact and damage to the local roads that feed the area (routes 300, 32 and 208) would be significant. These are residential communities and two-lane roads, most of the roads do not have shoulders. Our children get on and off school buses on these roads. Trucks going to 100 loading docks would endanger our children.
Will these trucks carrying loads to and from the warehouse be driving through the Village of New Paltz? Village of Gardiner? How do they plan to get trucks to routes 87 or 84? A traffic study for this project would likely show the fact that these roads are not built for large truck traffic.
• Environmental impact — well water and septic: Our home, as most of the areas, have well water. Has the town and developer considered or studied the impact to the ground water? The plan says they will drain the pond and pave over wetlands — disastrous for the surrounding environment. Truck traffic and a project of this size would certainly affect the ground water feeding into our wells and create health hazards for our families.
How will the warehouse deal with sewers? Do they plan to install a massive septic system? There are no municipal sewers in the area.
How do they plan to provide water to the warehouse for all the planned workers? With no municipal water supply this seems irresponsible and untenable.
Did the developer provide studies to account for these issues?
• Environmental impact — wetlands: Our homes are surrounded by wetlands feeding into the waterways in Ulster County and surrounding communities. Has the developer consulted the DEP and done a study as to the effect of the traffic and the building of such a massive structure on the wetlands?
• Environmental impact — noise and light pollution: The warehouse forklifts and truck traffic will greatly impact the noise in the community. Currently a rural community we enjoy dark skies and quiet days and nights. This warehouse will destroy our lifestyles.
The scope and scale of the project would be detrimental to the entire community and surrounding area. Based on these facts, we respectfully ask the town board of Plattekill to deny the project.
Stop the mega warehouse
Our area is a rural community of farms, orchards and small towns. It will forever change the quality and experience of driving and living here. If we drive to go shopping, drive to work, or just want to go to New Paltz or Plattekill, 18-wheelers will profoundly affect our ability to get from one place to another, particularly if we drive on 44-55 or Route 32. Imagine trucks driving through at all hours of the day; imagine the turns they will have to take on a narrow road like 44-55 when we are driving home or going to Hannaford’s. Imagine two semis coming from different directions having to enter this property at the same time! Cars will be hampered and even endangered by these trucks. There will inevitably be accidents, and automobiles will be the losers in any encounter with an 18-wheeler. It would be a nightmare from which none of us could awaken!
The proposed trucking mega warehouse simply does not belong here. This horrendous project should be located on or near a major highway, not on narrow roads or in the middle of our towns.
So let’s all wake up and stop the mega warehouse!
Jose M Moreno-Lacalle
Stop the mega warehouse
I commute through Plattekill several days each week on my way to and from work. One of the things I appreciate is the rural character of that community. There is very little traffic or congestion compared to the town in which I live. I enjoy the scenery and wildlife. It’s a real treat seeing bald eagles flying above or perched near Fazio’s. I feel more relaxed once I reach Ardonia and as I drive through Plattekill/Modena. I experience none of the headaches of gridlock, aggressive inconsiderate drivers, or the dangers of maneuvering in traffic with huge box trucks and 18 wheelers. Since I am neither rushed nor stressed, I feel more peaceful and take my time enjoying stopping at some of the local businesses like Fazio’s for a bite to eat, Hannaford for groceries and the Plattekill Library to pick up a good book to read.
I fear this will all change if the proposed mega warehouse is approved. The local roads that I traverse often like routes 44/55, 32 and 208 were not built for regular tractor trailer traffic. In most places, the roads are too narrow for even pedestrians or people riding bicycles. I don’t see how trucks will have enough room to make turns unless they go into the oncoming traffic. That would be a serious hazard to other vehicles on the roads.
A mega warehouse of this size belongs where the infrastructure is designed to accommodate wide turns and truck traffic — near major highways like the NYS Thruway, Route 84 or Route 17. It should not be constructed in a small residential community. It is not “light industrial.”
If built, this would certainly negatively impact my commute. The Plattekill planning board and town board should deny the application for the mega warehouse. To learn more, get involved and stay informed, join the Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/StopTheMegaWarehouse and sign the petition opposing the mega warehouse at www.change.org/p/halt-the-construction-of-a-massive-warehouse-in-modena.
Please do not approve proposed mega trucking warehouse in Plattekill
Dear elected and appointed Ulster County officials responsible for considering the proposed mega trucking warehouse in Plattekill:
My wife and I are registered voters in Gardiner. We moved here from an urban environment 26 years ago to raise a family in a safe and beautiful environment and to leave the congestion, noise and pollution of city life behind. We love Ulster County and the quality of life residents enjoy throughout the four seasons of the year.
Unfortunately, the proposed mega truck warehouse in Plattekill is a misguided project that will forever negatively impact the physical environment as well as the quality of life of Plattekill and the surrounding Ulster County communities. Please consider the:
• Estimated 75 semi trucks coming and going daily from the proposed new mega truck warehouse will present potential driving hazards on our narrow two-lane roadways.
• Constant discharge of toxic diesel fumes into the air, carcinogens will have devastating negative health consequences (i.e. asthma, emphysema, heart disease) for our most vulnerable residents, young and old.
• Traffic will spike due to new congestion. For example, imagine what it will be like driving through Plattekill to get to a doctor’s appointment with school bus stops and large semi’s clogging our narrow roadways.
• Compromised/polluted wetlands, as well as water levels for drinking and crop irrigation.
• Negative impact on local tourism.
Please DO NOT approve the proposed mega Truck warehouse. We can do better — there are better ways to create local jobs and protect the quality of life in Plattekill and the neighboring Ulster County towns without destroying the environment.
I urge all residents of the greater community to voice their opposition to a proposed mega warehouse in the Town of Plattekill. There is an application for a ten-acre warehouse building (451,000 square feet) in Modena/Town of Plattekill on Route 44/55 on the border of Gardiner. This will destroy 32 acres of a 50-acre parcel, 75 tractor trailer loading docks. This needs to be scaled down to an appropriate size for the area, or not occur at all.
We need to repurpose existing vacant properties such as iPark 87/Tech City and the Hudson Valley and Newburgh malls. Three million kilowatt hours of electricity annually is an unacceptable burden on our already strained electricity grid. There should be ten acres of solar panels on the roof of that ten-acre building. They are seeking a height variance. They could be storing toxic or hazardous substances, fireworks or explosives.
Over 15 acres of impervious surface will create an undue burden on the stormwater discharge system. Utilizing 1,725 gallons of water per day will deplete our water table and aquifer. What are the contents of this wastewater? You cannot discharge wastewater into wetlands.
Exterior lighting will destroy the night sky and impact wildlife from the river to the ridge. Destruction of ten acres of forest and four acres of meadow. A full conservation analysis should be completed related to the wetlands, fields, forests, the property as a whole and in relation to adjacent and surrounding properties and connectivity of wildlife corridors.
This site is within five miles of the Shawangunk Ridge, Minnewaska Park, Mohonk Preserve, the Shawangunk Grasslands, the Shawangunk designated scenic byway and the Route 208 scenic byway. A decommissioning plan with security in escrow should be put in place to ensure this lot is returned to forests and fields when abandoned. There will be major tractor trailer truck traffic in all directions and is unsustainable for the road and the community.
Will this warehouse receive an incentive to pay no taxes for ten years? The town will not see an economic benefit from this. But rest assured, we will have longer commute times and our children will be sitting on their school buses for even longer and longer periods of time. The environmental assessment and the wetlands delineation were completed in July 2022, during which it was classified “severe drought” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It needs to be done again properly.
There are possibly Native American artifacts on this site. Truck traffic, noise, air pollution, safety hazards, garbage. This will impact Wallkill, Newburgh, Montgomery, as well as Plattekill, Gardiner, Highland, over Minnewaska to Ellenville and through New Paltz up to Kingston. Hundreds and hundreds of tractor trailer trucks in all directions rumbling past our homes, screeching up behind us when we’re driving, spewing fumes and noise, blocking the way, making wide turns, endangering bicycles, motorcycles, pedestrians and children. This mega warehouse will destroy our community, our environment and our way of life.
My concerns about the proposed warehouse
This is a copy of a letter I submitted to the Plattekill Planning Board:
I am writing with great concern over the warehouse proposal.
In weighing a project, I understand that your obligation is to both your zoning code and the effect on the community. There is a cost/benefit analysis that must be considered with every potential project.
I know that this will create some tax revenue, and jobs, though just a handful because the majority of people passing through the facility would be truck drivers.
But, the potential cost of this project is what greatly concerns me.
The proposed 75 truck bays indicate that there would be the potential for quite a few trucks at any given time.
I read that it was projected at 50 or more trucks during each rush hour.
On a road (Route 44/55) that has, from what I have seen estimated currently, as single digit truck traffic daily, this would be disastrous.
The close neighbors would suffer from noise and emissions, in addition to the project’s negative environmental effects.
However, you must consider the deleterious effect to all of Plattekill, and your neighbors in Gardiner, New Paltz and all of the other towns that these 80,000 pound behemoths will be traversing.
The location could not be worse. This type of facility is best-suited to Fishkill, Newburgh, Kingston, or other locations near a Thruway exit to minimize truck traffic disruption.
I have the following specific traffic concerns:
1. Trucks turning from, and onto, Route 44/55 — an inconvenience and potential hazard.
2. Congestion caused by the daily addition of hundreds of trucks — do we really want our rural community to look and feel like Secaucus?
3. Where do they turn? — The weight limit on 32 North is 17,000 pounds. Will they be going on 32 south, North Ohioville Road, the Scenic Byway of Route 208? Whichever road, the turns are tight and this will be a daily slow-down and hazard.
4. Tourism is one of our biggest economic drivers — people do NOT come to our community to be stuck behind an army of tractor trailers … there WILL be a negative economic impact.
5. Road safety will be compromised — not only will we all be inconvenienced, but it is just a matter of time, and probability, until there are serious and God forbid fatal accidents. Even if this project were to be scaled down in size, road safely is a major concern. Please do not put yourselves in the position of having that on your conscience.
For all of these reasons, and others that I have not addressed here, I call upon you to do your jobs and protect your community.
Mega warehouse in Modena needs impact studies
I am writing as a resident of the Town of Gardiner regarding my opposition to the special permit application for a mega warehouse to be located off Route 44/55 in Modena without a full OCED review. It seems historical that the Town of Plattekill has chosen not to avail themselves of impact study resources even when residents and concerned neighbors demanded such for other development projects. Impact studies may have seemed like unnecessary bureaucratic red tape the town wished to avoid in the past. However, I think it is exceptionally clear that following that habit in the case of a proposed 450,000 square-foot mega warehouse would be incredibly ill advised.
There are certainly going to be countless negative impacts from a structure of this nature and the heavy truck traffic it will bring that will affect not just the Town of Plattekill, but the neighboring communities as well. Many of those impacts might be dangerously consequential. It must be also be considered what precedent would be set for the region by categorizing a facility of this size as “light industrial use.” This could cause further depletion of the true industrial zones in the region. If planning boards start to allow very large businesses to take up space in the less expensive rural areas, why would any business pay more to be in the proper industrial zones? The Ulster County Economic Development Alliance should be consulted for their advice about this issue. There may be very far reaching economic impacts that a short sighted decision would have. For these reasons I urge the editor to highlight the need for impact studies for this project.
Opposition to trucking warehouse on Route 44/55
Dear Plattekill Planning Board:
My wife and I are residents of Gardiner for over 12 years and live near Route 44/55.
I am also a bicycle rider and I often ride on Route 44/55 as I ride through Plattekill and Gardiner.
I am strongly opposed to the construction of the massively large trucking warehouse that has been proposed in Plattekill close to the Gardiner town line.
The large volume of semi-tractor trailers that are expected to use this very large warehouse will destroy the roads in Plattekill, Gardiner and New Paltz and will seriously impede the normal traffic in our towns.
The size of the local roads located adjacent to this property, and on the routes to the Thruway and I-84, are too small to accommodate such a large increase in the largest type of trucks.
A trucking warehouse of this size and with this planned high level of usage should be located much closer to the entrances to Routes 87 and 84 — where there are already many warehouses of this size.
Approval of this facility will severely damage the quality of life in Plattekill, Gardiner and New Paltz.
Comments about the Plattekill warehouse proposal
Below are my comments on the Plattekill warehouse proposal, sent recently to the Plattekill planning board:
It is my understanding that the SEQRA review for this proposal is in progress without much notification to the public. I am a Gardiner resident but recognize how the project, if allowed to be built, will have wide ranging negative impacts for our area.
A positive declaration of significant impact must be declared requiring a full EIS. The scoping session must be open to the public. This project is massively out of scale for our area. Tourism, along with agriculture are the main economic engines of the still bucolic southern Ulster County. Area orchards and wineries are major attractions for tourist, as well as residents.
A footprint of 15 acres of impervious surface will create massive amounts of storm water runoff. A recent rainstorm dropped five inches of rain in 12 hours. Heavy downpours are becoming the norm in our rapidly changing climate. Fifteen acres of impervious pavement will cause flooding of nearby roads and properties.
Groundwater is perhaps the most important resource in Plattekill and Gardiner. All properties in our towns are served by groundwater. Runoff from deicing salts and oil spills, including diesel oil from numerous trucks will pollute groundwater. Extraction of 1700 gpd of water will seriously deplete the water table. Draw down tests must be conducted on wells within at least a one-mile radius.
The filling and despoliation of nearby wetlands will occur. New York State has lost at least 50% of wetlands since the arrival of Europeans. Wetlands are the most propitious environment for wildlife diversity. Invertebrates, including pollinators, amphibians, birds and mammals thrive in wetlands. Abundant wildlife is one of the wonderful amenities area residents and tourists enjoy.
Traffic will be greatly impacted by 75 tractor trailers loads per day. This warehouse will be miles from the closest major interstates like Route 87 and 94. Trucks must drive down curvy two-lane roads that require constant deceleration and acceleration creating greater exhaust emissions and noise pollution. There is an unacceptable line of sight distance to the proposed entrance of this site.
In short this, this warehouse would create air pollution, noise pollution and light pollution, impacting dark sky enjoyment by area residents and visitors. Increased light pollution is impacting migratory birds by affecting their ability to navigate long distance migration. This project would cause loss of wildlife habitat, pollute and deplete our groundwater and seriously impact the community character of our region. These are just some of the negative impacts that would occur.
The planning board is required by state law to adhere to the SEQRA process. The board must make a positive declaration of significant environmental impact and require the applicant to complete a draft EIS. The scoping session must be open for public comment. Assessments must be collected from hydrologic studies, wildlife experts, an archeology survey of the site, independent traffic engineers, involved agencies such as the DEC, NYSDOT, the county highway, health, and planning departments, adjacent towns and other involved agencies.
Above all, the board must keep area residents and the local media informed of the board’s timeline.
Thank you for considering my comments.
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