From SI Live:
Every speaker at a public hearing in Richmond Monday night opposed a developer’s proposal to build 13 houses on an area that includes protected wetlands.
Attending the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) hearing at St. Christopher’s School’s cafeteria were 104 local residents, politicians’ representatives and environmental preservationists – 27 of whom spoke to denounce a plan that would develop lands east, west and north of Santo Court, opposite the intersection of Richmond Road and Wilder Avenue.
Max Gurvitch of Brooklyn-based Island Realty Associates hopes to build 13 single-family, detached houses with pools and patios on the 6.8-acre site. About 65 percent of the area would be left in its natural state, said Philip Rampulla, the urban planner representing the developer. But five of the housing footprints and one additional back yard would be located in the adjacent area of Freshwater Wetland AR-3. The property is located within the sub-drainage basin boundary of the Richmond Creek Drainage Plan, and is in the city’s Special Natural Area zoning district.
“Adjacent areas” extending 100 feet or more around wetlands proper are regulated throughout the state to protect the integrity of freshwater wetlands, which serve as natural habitats and absorb forces of flood and tidal erosion. In Richmond, the Bluebelt system integrates storm sewers with Richmond Creek waterways and wetlands to protect against flooding.
Speakers at Monday’s hearing asked the DEC to honor regulations that ensure that the Bluebelt system survives.
WTF is with the DEC for even entertaining this concept?