Standardbred farm planned for Cochecton

By CHARLIE BUTERBAUGH

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — At its January 27 meeting the Town of Cochecton Planning Board reviewed Robert Berman’s plans to clear trees and cultivate pasturelands along County Road 115 for a 175-acre Standardbred horse farm.

Berman’s attorney, Joseph Catalano of Rensselaerville, NY, said a significant number of trees will need to be cleared from the property in order to create 20 acres of fields and establish internal roads. He said less than 20 acres would be cleared since there are existing fields on the property.

The board decided not to subject the developer to a special use permit application since the clearing will not be considered forestry, and since the farm is within the town’s agricultural zoning district.

Berman, a principle of Empire Resorts and a resident of the Town of Forestburgh, plans to build a house beside the farm on a previously subdivided 50-acre parcel by Lake Kabau.

Project engineer Richard Miller of Saratoga Associates completed an erosion and sedimentation control plan. He said the pastureland grasses would ultimately let less water run off the property than the existing terrain of trees and bedrock.

However, planning board member Earl Bertsch said the plan must be reviewed and approved by both the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Sullivan County Soil and Water Conservation District. Saratoga Associates agreed to fulfill the request.

Cochecton Code Enforcement Officer John Drobysh asked what the developer plans to do with the felled trees as the farm is being developed.

Catalano said a majority of the trees are not suitable for use in residential construction. He said many trees would be disposed of through chipping, though some would be utilized as fences and barns built on the property.

“There’s going to be a time period when it looks like hell,” Catalano said. He said Saratoga Associates does not plan to clear trees along CR 115.

It will take 24 months for the deep soils to be prepared for grasses necessary for the grazing of the standard breed of trotting and pacing horses.

Zylstra Farm development moves forward

The planning board also granted preliminary approval of the first phase of a residential development at the former Zylstra Farm property in Fosterdale.

The developer, Brookside Homes, plans to build three large modular homes on 44 acres. If the planning board gives final approval to the project, the parcel will be subdivided into nine, seven and 26-acre properties for the new homes.

Originally, Brookside Homes proposed subdividing the 44 acres into six parcels but reduced the residential density at the request of the planning board.

Brookside Homes also owns and plans to develop 81 acres of the former farm, located across County Road 113. New site plans for that parcel have yet to be presented for the board’s review.