KINGSTON, NY – A final traffic report for the proposed workforce and senior housing project planned on the site of the former Ulster County Jail could be ready by the end of the month, the city planner said.
Suzanne Cahill told the Kingston Planning Board during a meeting Monday that the city had hired Greenman-Pedersen Inc., also known as GPI, to review a traffic analysis submitted on behalf of developers for the proposed Golden Hill housing development became. She said GPI has had some back-and-forth with the developer’s consultant, LaBella Associates, about the analysis, but will hopefully have its final report for the city ready by the end of the month. The goal is for GPI to present its final report to the planning committee in May, Cahill said.
In his analysis, LaBella, formerly known as Chazen Cos. known, determined that the Golden Hill Drive housing project would not have a significant impact on traffic in the area.
In its initial response, GPI said the report was well-written and comprehensive, but additional information was needed before the report’s conclusions could be validated.
The traffic analysis is part of the information that the Planning Committee reviews before issuing a determination of the environmental relevance for the project under the State Environmental Quality Assessment Act.
On a related matter, Ulster County planning director Dennis Doyle said there are ongoing discussions about installing a gate at the end of Glen Street that leads to Golden Hill Drive near the Golden Hill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. He said when the county subdivided the property to sell the nursing home, it created an easement along Golden Hill Drive that included access to Glen Street.
“It has a condition that basically says we can’t block it,” Doyle said. However, he said the county was working with the nursing home owners to find a solution that could include a mechanical gate operated with a code that would allow responders to continue using Glen Street as their gateway to Golden Hill Drive but block other traffic. If such an agreement can be reached, the gate would be installed before the housing project moves forward, so no construction traffic would use Glen Street to access the site, Doyle said.
Glen Street residents have been urging the city and county to block access from their residential street to Golden Hill for years, saying it is heavy traffic.
In August 2020, the county legislature voted to separate the former prison site from Golden Hill Drive in Kingston excess ownership and transferred ownership to Ulster County Housing Development Corp. for sale to a private developer. In November 2020, Housing Development Corp. Pennrose, a Pennsylvania-based company, selected five applicants to develop the workforce and senior housing project.
The project will include 164 residential units and a community building on Golden Hill Drive. The apartments would be housed in six buildings, one of which would house 80 senior citizens’ apartments. There would also be four townhouse-style buildings of nine units each.
Haley Bigando, a civil engineer at LaBella Associates, also provided the planning committee with information about the stormwater management plan for the project during Monday’s meeting. She said because the project would add 1.1 acres of impervious surface to the property, developers would need to comply with regulations from the state Department of Environmental Protection and a permit from the state pollution control system. That would require developers to capture, treat, and attenuate stormwater before releasing it off-site, Bigando said. She said the discharge rate would also need to be lower than the current one.
The water would also flow into a different system than the one affecting Glen Street residents, Bigando said.