Weekly Feature



2018-04-11 / Front Page

Legacy Woods proposal moves to concept review despite flooding concerns

by ETHAN POWERS
Editor

A plan to create an equestrian community that would allow horses to walk alongside neighborhood residents in the comfort of their backyards, will now undergo concept plan review despite familiar residential concerns that the project could exacerbate neighborhood flooding issues.

At the Planning Board’s April 4 meeting, Dr. Greg Daniel requested an action under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, seeking concept plan review and a recommendation for an open space design subdivision located on the west side of Newhouse Road, north of Roll Road.

Daniel wants to develop a subdivision of 50 upscale single-family homes off Newhouse Road and next to his home and his Legacy Equestrian Center, a 40-acre horse farm at 5940 Newhouse. An equestrian trail would be built to meander throughout the development.

Sean Hopkins of Hopkins Sorgi & Romanowski PLLC, a real estate acquisition firm representing Daniel’s proposed project, told the board that Daniel and project representatives held an informational meeting with nearby property owners in February.

The 60-acre site would see 50 percent designated for open space, and the site’s Gott Creek corridor would be left undeveloped and unaltered.

“Dr. Daniel has a strong interest that homes on this site will incorporate environmental amenities. Things he has been looking at are geothermal solar panels,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins addressed the ongoing anxieties related to how the subdivision could affect an already precarious drainage situation.

“What we’re doing in terms of drainage, is we’re providing two onsite stormwater management areas for the runoff on our site,” he said.

Hopkins noted that the flooding safeguards that will be put into place will actually reduce runoff compared to existing conditions on the site today, adding that with no further development, the rate of reduction for a 100-year floodplain would be 58 percent.

Yet despite the attempts at reassurance, residents still expressed apprehension about flooding.

“I’ve sent pictures to you guys, showing the incredible flooding that goes on every year,” said Marlena Rice, a resident of Rosehill Lane. “I’ve lived here for 21 years, and it seems to grow continually. … How will you deal with the 100-year floodplain that may occur in 20 years, not in 100 years?”

Newhouse Road resident Michael Spiegel took issue with the proposed subdivision’s north entrance, which he says will be a burden to him as a neighboring property owner.

“I do not wish to have that driveway right at the front window of my house. I do not wish to have floodlights on a nonstop basis constantly flashing in my windows,” he said.

While Hopkins informed the board that a traffic impact study, completed by the county Department of Public Works, concluded that neighborhood traffic would not be significantly increased as a result of the added 50 lots, Spiegel questioned the results.

“If you put another 100 cars onto Newhouse Road, good luck,” he said.

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