County Executive Ed Day this week announced that the County Planning Department has disapproved proposed amendments to the Town of Ramapo’s zoning map and comprehensive plan associated with the proposed Pascack Ridge subdivision.
“As I said in my Inaugural Address in January, regulating development and preserving the quality and character of our neighborhoods is one of my Administration’s top priorities,” said County Executive Day. “This proposed zoning change is a prime example of inappropriate development. Rockland County cannot lay vulnerable to overzealous developers who ignore the will of the people at the cost of our infrastructure and quality of life. I commend our diligent Planning Department for protecting Rockland’s residents and natural resources from reckless downzoning and out-of character-development.”
The 28-acre site, known as Pascack Ridge, sits between Spring Valley and the Nanuet border near Spring Brook Road. It’s currently zoned medium-density residential allowing about three homes per acre. Two of the site’s property owners are seeking to change the zone to multifamily residential, allowing 12 units per acre.
The County Department of Planning disapproved the amendments citing increased congestion, inadequate vehicle access, inadequate parking, utility constraints, sanitary sewer limitations, potential flooding and community character issues.
In its disapproval, the Planning Department noted that “a less dense zoning designation is more suitable for the environmentally-constrained Pascack Ridge site,” and “We do not believe a four-fold increase in the permitted residential density is appropriate for this 28.5-acre assemblage particularly when the proposal requires numerous variances.” Additionally, County planners ruled the proposed zoning change and related multi-family housing would place additional financial and population burdens on the East Ramapo School District.
The Planning Department is calling for a full environmental review of the proposed zoning change, as required by the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act, known as SEQRA. A thorough environmental assessment is necessary given the proposed density, on-site constraints and potential impacts to neighboring municipalities.
On November 5th, the Town of Clarkstown Planning Board also adopted a resolution opposing Pascack Ridge, citing serious concerns about the potential impacts of the development on the adjacent residential neighborhood in Nanuet.