Save the Pine Bush

Save the Pine Bush

TOWN OF GUILDERLAND
PLANNING BOARD

DRAFT SCOPE RECOMMENDATION

 MARCH _____, 2002
FOR PUBLIC COMMENT

DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT
APPLICATION OF WOODFIELD SUBDIVISION

Name of Project:                 Woodfield Subdivision

Project Location:                 Lydius Street
                                           Town of Guilderland
                                           Albany County, New York

SEQRA Classification:         Type I Action

Lead Agency:                       Town of Guilderland Planning Board
                                            Town Hall
                                            Guilderland, New York 12084
                                            (518) 356-9880

Contact Person:                     Jan Weston
                                             Town Planner
                                             Town of Guilderland
                                             Town Hall
                                             Guilderland, New York 12084

Date of Acceptance by
Planning Board:                     March _, 2002
 

DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED ACTION

Provide a brief description of the proposed action, including location, size, layout and any project characteristics that may cause or result in potential significant environmental impacts. All required local, state, federal, and county permits/approvals should be identified. Should include a conventional layout in compliance with the towns zoning and subdivision ordinance to determine the number of lots. The conventional layout must take into account any significant environmental features and mitigate/avoid environmental impacts to the maximum extent practicable.
 

EXISTING ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING

A.  Transportation and Traffic: A study of the traffic and transportation impacts of the project
    will be provided. The traffic study will be conducted in accordance with NYSDOT
    guidelines using generally accepted procedures as contained in the Highway Capacity
    Manual (latest edition). The study will provide capacity analysis for the existing, nobuild and build
    conditions,  and mitigation measures developed where required, for all intersections and mainline routes
    outlined in Section A. I below.

    The section of the DEIS will provide a summary discussion of the existing transportation network and traffic
    conditions. Existing conditions will be addressed as follows: (include maps and tables as appropriate).

    1.  Intersection Capacity Analysis – Describe existing conditions.

        a.  Traffic Counts: Collect and Present existing traffic volume data at intersections and highway
             segments during the weekday am and pm peak travel periods. The intersections included are:
             Lydius Street and proposed new streets; Lydius and Lone Pine Road; Lydius and
             Carman  Road;  Lone Pine and Carman Road; Lydius and Old State Road; and,
             Lydius and Siver Road.

        b.  Sight Distance – Perform an existing sight distance analysis for the intersections identified in Item A. 1.

        c.  Evaluate existing operating conditions and provide capacity analysis for existing conditions at the
             intersections identified in Item A. I during the weekday am and pm peak periods. Analysis will show the
             Level-of-Service, existing traffic volumes, v/c  ratios, and average delay.

        d.  Proposed Improvements – Identify and describe any proposed roadway and/or intersection
             improvements within the surrounding roadway network.

    2.  Queuing Analysis – Provide queuing analysis at intersection locations and noted above.

    3.  Pedestrian/Bicycle Environment – Identify and describe the existing pedestrian/bicycle environment in the
         vicinity of the project site.

B.  Public Utilities: An analysis of project impacts on existing water and sanitary sewer service will be provided.

C.  Drainage: /Hydrology: A drainage study will be prepared for the project. This section will provide a
      summary discussion of existing drainage and hydrological conditions including an assessment of the
      Hungerkill’s aquatic habitat. A full Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan will be prepared
      including an erosion and sediment control plait and water quality and quantity volume control
      plan per NYSDEC regulations. Potential impacts to the hydrology of the Hungerkill as a result
      of  sediment loading, thermal impacts, nutrients, pesticides, other pollutants, etc. should be
      discussed including impacts to the stream channel/habitat and aquatic organisms.

D.  Wetlands: This section will include a description of on-site wetland areas as regulated by  the U.S. Army
      Corps of Engineers, including a wetland delineation and information on wetland acreage, location, type and
      value for storm water management and habitat. . Any isolated wetlands and/or vernal ponds not
      currently regulated by the ACOE will also be identified.   NYSDEC Inventory maps will be
      researched for the presence of mapped NYSDEC  wetlands. Records of the natural Resource Heritage
      program will be reviewed and site  assessments performed to determine the presence of endangered or
      threatened species.,   and an assessment of potential impacts to non-endangered or threatened species will be
      prepared. Relevant information regarding flora and fauna shall be submitted including  impact on Albany Pine
      Bush Preserve Commission’s Plan.

E.  Archeological and Historic Resources: This section will summarize the findings of a cultural resources
     investigation conducted for the project site. (Include map).
     This subsection will provide a brief description of archeological sites found on the parcel and significance of
     the sites to an understanding of prehistoric cultures.

F.  Pine Bush Ecosystem: Records of the natural Resource Heritage program will be reviewed and site
      assessments performed to determine the presence of endangered or threatened species, and an
      assessment of potential impacts to non-endangered or threatened species will be prepared.
     Relevant information regarding flora and fauna shall be submitted including impact on Albany
     Pine Bush Preserve Commission’s Plan.

    A qualified biologist/ecologist will survey the entire site and identify the presence of remnant
    inland  pitch pine-scrub oak barrens communities/variants, sand dunes, wetlands and any state
    and federally rare and/or listed plant and wildlife species on the property. Any significant old
    growth forest areas will be identified. An assessment of the areas ecological degradation and ability
    to be restored to pitch pine-scrub oak barrens community that could support the karner blue
    butterfly and other rare species will be completed.

POTENTIAL SIGNIFICANT ADVERSE IMPACTS

A.  Transportation and Traffic – This section of the DEIS will provide a summary discussion of the forecasted
      traffic impact of the project based on analysis contained in the traffic
      study. Traffic impacts will be addressed as indicated below. (Include maps and tables, as
      appropriate).

    I .  Intersection Capacity Analysis – Analyze the traffic impacts of the proposed project on the intersections
         identified in Item I.A. I. This will include the coordination with the Town as well as acceptance of
         background growth rates, trip generation and trip distribution analysis.

         a.  Weekday am and pm analysis – Capacity analysis will be performed for the build condition for those
              intersections identified in Section I.A. 1. In addition, capacity analysis will also address projected
              conditions for the proposed project driveway during these peak periods. Analysis will be
              conducted in accordance with NYSDOT guidelines using generally accepted procedures as contained in
              the Highway Capacity Manual (latest edition).

              1)  Background Traffic Growth – Apply an annual growth rate to the counted traffic volumes at each of
                    the identified intersections to account for background traffic.

               2)  Other Proposed Projects – Identify and describe other proposed/planned projects within the
                    study area and add in the traffic generated from these developments.

                3)  Trip Generation – Using the ITE Trip Generation Rates (latest edition), determine the number
                      of  vehicle trips that will be generated during the weekday am and pm peak periods as a result
                      of the proposed project.

                4)  Trip distribution and Assignment – Determine the distribution of trips to and from the project
                      driveways for each time period, and assign the trips to the highway network.

                5)  Projected Operating Conditions – Conduct capacity analysis for the weekday am and pm peak
                      periods to determine what roadway improvements are needed to mitigate the effects of the
                      proposed development. Analysis will show projected Level -of- Service, traffic volumes, v/c
                      ratios and average delay. Project impacts without highway improvements will be presented along
                      with nobuild baseline conditions for the design year.

    2.  Pedestrian/Bicycle Environment – Identify and describe the impacts of the  project on the
         pedestrian/bicycle environment.

    3. Internal Circulation – Provide a description and location of the interior roadway network including proposed
        roadway geometrics, internal circulation patterns, and emergency vehicle circulation.

    4.  Site access points – Discuss the proposed site driveways including the site distance, and the impact of
        accident or road blockage, and the use of emergency or secondary access points.

B.  Drainage/Hydrology – This section will contain a summary discussion of the forecasted drainage impacts of the project based on analysis contained in the drainage study. Potential impacts to the hydrology of the
Hungerkill as a result of sediment loading, thermal impacts, nutrients, pesticides, other pollutants, etc. will be discussed including impacts to the stream channel/habitat and aquatic organisms.

C.  Wetlands – This section will describe the extent of impact to wetlands on the site,  including non-regulated
wetlands/vernal ponds,  including the loss of habitat values and storm water management functions. (Include map).

D.  Archeological and Historic Resources – This section will identify any effects the proposed
     project will have on the historic and archeological resources identified. Contact will be made with
     NYS SHPO for an advisory opinion with respect to potential impacts.

E.  Pine Bush Ecosystem – Describe how the proposed development will potentially impact the
     establishment of a viable Pine Bush Preserve, including the potential impact to current or future
     fire-manageable lands, pursuant to Article 46 of the NYS Environmental Conservation law and
    consistent with the 2002 Preserve Management Plan and Final EIS. The project’s impact on the
    establishment of a viable preserve will take into account the cumulative impacts of other proposed
    approved development in the area. Include any reasonably related short- and long-term impacts
    and cumulative impacts. Include impacts such as the introduction of non-native invasive species,
    light and air pollution, Yard debris disposal, etc. that contribute to habitat degradation. Also
    include any adverse impacts that cannot be avoided or adequately mitigated and any irreversible
    and irretrievable commitments of environmental resources.

DESCRIPTION OF MITIGATION MEASURES TO MINIMIZE THE ADVERSE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS IDENTIFIED Means of mitigation will include both site-specific and off-site measures that will be necessary to reduce or avoid the project’s adverse effects. This section of the DEIS Scope suggests potential mitigation measures that must be considered in the DEIS. Their inclusion in this section of the scoping document, however, does not imply that each listed mitigation measure must or will be implemented. Appropriate mitigation will ‘depend upon the actual impacts (and their significance) identified during analysis. Where adverse impacts are identified and no corresponding mitigation is identified below, the applicant will suggest suitable mitigation. In addition, the applicant is encouraged to suggest alternatives where such alternative mitigation is more appropriate to the nature and severity of the identified impact.

A.  Transportation and Traffic

    1 . Intersection Capacity

          a.  Consideration should be given to the following

                1)  Correcting horizontal and/or vertical alignment to correct geometric deficiencies where increased
                      traffic associated with the project has implications for highway safety.

                 2)  Providing acceleration/deceleration lanes, traffic signals, turning lanes or other alternative
                       treatments to improve geometry safety capacity and Level of Service at existing intersections and
                       the proposed intersections. For the purposes of this planning document a LOS of C or better shall
                       be required in the build condition.

B.  Public Utilities: Identify public water systems and sanitary sewer systems improvements and any phasing
      necessary to support and serve the project and to maintain the existing system during development.

C.  Drainage/Hydrology:
      A full Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan will be prepared including an erosion and sediment
      control plan and water quality and quantity volume control plan per NYSDEC regulations.

     1.  Provide erosion control measures.

     2.  Provide on-site stormwater detention. Describe design and operation of stormwater collection and
          detention facilities. Provide modeling results with detention.

            • Design facilities to provide no increase in the peak rate of flow at the design point in the receiving
               stream.

            •  Design detention for multiple storm events, 2, 10, and 100 year.

            • All detention basins will have overflow devices designed to convey the overflow rate from the I 00 year
               storm without erosion.

        3.  Identify and describe off-site drainage – improvements which may be necessitated
             by project development, including those released to implementation of other off-site mitigation.

D.  Wetlands:

        1 .  Design site plan to minimize wetland disturbance.
        2.   Describe wetland mitigation measures as required by USACOE, including, as applicable, creation of
              on-site or off-site wetlands, provisions for stormwater recharge and connectivity of such areas,
              protective measures during construction activity (e.g.., fencing, erosion control), monitoring of created
              wetlands, and deed or other long-term development restrictions.

E.  Archeological and Historic Resources

        1. Historic Structures

            a. Consult with SHPO on appropriate means of mitigation and outline comments from this agency, if
                applicable.

         2. Archeology

             a. Design site plan to avoid significant archeological sites. If not feasible, propose appropriate mitigation
                 (e.g.. Study, collection and donation of artifacts).

             b. Retain archeologist on-call for any additional discoveries during construction activity.

             c. Consult with SHPO on appropriate means of mitigation and outline comments from this agency.

F.  Pine Bush Ecosystem
     Consult with the Pine Bush Commission and NYSDEC to help determine appropriate mitigation.
     Mitigation could include: No removal of natural soil off-site, landscaping with natural vegetation,
     building envelope setbacks and no disturbance/selective management buffers. Sand excavated from
     the site could be stockpiled for habitat restoration. Site designs that avoid significant
     environmental areas such as sand dunes, wetlands, and old growth forests are potential mitigation
     mechanisms.

ADVERSE IMPACTS WHICH CANNOT BE AVOIDED

EVALUATION OF PROJECT ALTERNATIVES
The range of alternatives must include the no action alternative. The no action alternative should discuss the beneficial site changes that can occur to the site under the Pine Bush Commission’s Management. The alternatives discussed must also include the scale and magnitude of the development (number of lots) and site design or subdivision layout to avoid sensitive environmental areas such as dunes and wetlands.

IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENT OF RESOURCES
 

INFORMATION INCLUDED IN APPENDICES

Traffic study details

Drainage/hydrology study details

Archeological report details
 

The Town of Guilderland Planning Board reserves the right to expand the list of issues in accordance with, SEQR Section 617.7c if,’ at a later date, the need for additional analysis becomes apparent. The Planning Board strongly urges the applicant to work with appropriate members of town staff as well as involved/interested agencies to prepare a draft EIS that is concise, accurate and complete and adequate for public review.
 

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