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Local Businesses Voice Nanuet Mall Concerns at Public Hearing

Simon’s preliminary plans will be reviewed during a public hearing and possibly approved at next week’s Planning Board meeting, Wednesday, Mar 7 at 7:10 p.m. at Clarkstown Town Hall.

 

After amending and approving the preliminary plans at Jan. 26’s meeting, the plans and maps were updated by Simon and sent over to County Planning Department, who had 30 days to respond. On Wednesday night, the county’s replies went back to Clarkstown to review during a public hearing.

Main representatives for Simon Property last night included:

  • Tom Schneider, executive vice president of development for Simon
  • Ira Emanuel of the Law Office of Ira M. Emanuel, P.C. in New City
  • Chuck Schneider, senior civil engineer for Simon

Simon plans to change the Nanuet Mall into The Shops at Nanuet, an open air Main Street concept. “We’re trying to replicate a downtown experience … in a contained space,” said Tom Schneider.

During the public hearing portion, Co-Owner Brian Fahrenfeld and Attorney Howard D. Geneslaw brought up a few concerns.

Drainage & Parking

“It hasn’t been mentioned one bit, the impact it will have on our strip mall, which is adjacent to Macy’s,” said Fahrenfeld. “There has been no drainage study mentioned. Our parking lot, when it rains heavily, gets the run-off from Sears and Macy’s, that whole parking lot. The water bubbles back up out of our drains and floods our parking lot.”

“There is an extensive drainage study that has been submitted. The bottom line to that drainage study is that the total impervious surface on this site will be slightly reduced,” said Dennis Letson, Clarkstown deputy director of environmental control. “There will be no change to the existing conditions. The Metro-North commuter parking lot, the westerly end of your parcel and the Sears and Macy’s all drain into the system within this site and flow easterly on First Street until it dumps into the Nauraushaun Brook.”

When the mall was expanded in 1992 or 93, the owner at that time installed a new culvert from the mall to the Nauraushaun Brook culvert on First Street, which was adequate at the time,” he added and suggested Fahrenfeld bring up the drainage issue with his property owner.

Fahrenfeld’s second concern was about parking.

“With 800 less parking spots and now with this Park & Ride being taken out, how is it going to affect the parking there, transportation in and out, is it going to be adequate? A lot of the cars entering the Shops of Nanuet are going to pass our strip mall,” he said, adding that the incoming movie theater and fitness center may bring a lot of traffic.

“The ratio of parking spaces to retail square footage will be higher after this project is completed than it is now,” said Emanuel.

“The mix of uses tends to allow us to share parking better because the peak hours are different from the retailers to the non-retail uses,” said Tom Schneider, adding that they felt comfortable that there is adequate parking.

Traffic Consultant John Sarna said that the parking requirements meets all codes and standards and that there will be a less parking demand for the retail and grocery stores when they’re closed late at night when the parking demand for the movie theater will most likely rise.

“It should tend to balance out,” said Sarna.

Signage & Traffic Times

After Tuesday’s workshop meeting, Simon representatives were approached by the attorney representing Stop & Shop, Geneslaw.

“(Their concerns) had to do with the access driveway that is opposite of the Stop & Shop access driveway,” said Emanuel. Currently, there are markings at the traffic light as it faces the mall indicating right or left turn only lanes. However, the current site plan drawings provide thru-traffic indicating a left-turn-only lane and a straight-and-right-turn lane.

“This was approved at preliminary and will be carried through at final approval stages. We will have signage on our site for this both on the pavement and to be erected,” said Emanuel. “But the right-turn-only sign hanging by the traffic light needs to be removed.”

At the end of the meeting, it was decided that the sign will be removed and/or replaced by an appropriate sign. Emanual added that this change will also be indicated on the map.

Another issue raised by Stop & Shop is the post-occupancy traffic study Sarna suggested of Simon. Although it will look at the two mall entrances at Route 59 and Middletown Road, Stop & Shop asked Simon to “include the traffic signal at Route 59 and Middletown Road.”

Emanuel said that they did not have an objection with that and although DOT requested to keep the number of traffic studies at a minimum, Simon will include that intersection in their post-occupancy traffic study.

The third issue dealt with whether the Stop & Shop traffic light is timed or actuated, meaning the intersection is equipped with detection. All four signals at that intersection are actuated.

During the public forum, Geneslaw also brought up concerns about what kind of effect Stop & Shop customers would have based on the amount of green time of the traffic light shared by the Nanuet Mall and Stop & Shop.

“Relative to the driveway exiting from Stop & Shop to South Middletown Road, we would also seek to have a commitment and a condition of approval that the maximum and minimum green time for exiting traffic be established in such a way … that it doesn’t result in any additional delay beyond the delay that currently exists on the site,” said Geneslaw.

Letson said that the timing of traffic signals is not a condition that the planning board could impose.

“The timing of the traffic signals would be determined by the future traffic study,” said Letson.

Daniel Kraushaar, deputy town attorney, added that whoever is responsible for the traffic signal—whether it’s town or county—would be responsible for the timing of the traffic signal, not the town planning board.

To satisfy everyone’s request, Letson asked that Simon show the existing signal loops on the site plans and that it’s an actuated intersection.

Geneslaw also asked that each of these items be documented in a condition of approval requiring in the case of the signage.

Other

A Nanuet Patch reader asked what is to become of the items on the site.

“The stuff that’s within the stores is not our property and prior occupants would have removed that when they left the premises. Most of the fixtures that is there, to an extent, will be salvageable by the demolition contractor. There are some that will be crushed and reused on site and some will be hauled off the site,” said Tom Schneider, and confirmed by Sam Fattah, vice president of project management.

Simon’s preliminary plans will be reviewed during a public hearing and possibly approved at next week’s Planning Board meeting, Wednesday, Mar 7 at 7:10 p.m. at Clarkstown Town Hall.

 

Scott Walters March 01, 2012 at 06:10 PM
DOes anyone really believe that SImon is going to do anything with the land except sell it once they clear it out? They haven't been exactly the best and most communicative of neighbors, and with all of the other properties they own, they will find an excuse to not build the so called Shops at Nanuet. No doubt if Sears and Macy's don't make physical improvements, that will be their excuse. If they do and it is complete, I'll be first in line to shop.

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