Developer proposes 566 homes in South Blooming Grove


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By Nathan Mayberg
— A proposal by a Brooklyn investment company to build 566 homes on 708 acres at State Route 208 and Clove Road in South Blooming Grove is in front of the village board and planning board.

The developer, Keen Equities LLC, proposes to construct the development on land that includes property previously known as the Lake Anne Country Club.

This month, the company sent its application to the village planning board, along with $4,360 for a site plan escrow account and application fees.

According to the application, the village board has the authority to set its own application fees and escrow deposit amounts for project with more than 50 lots.

In addition to the 566 residential units, 20 acres of space is reserved for non-residential uses which could include small-scale retail development for the community. Engineer Kirk Rother wrote the town a letter explaining that 80 percent of the land will be reserved for open space.

Keen Equities has clashed with the village before.

In 2010, the village building inspector charged the limited liability company with performing work without required approvals, exposure of sewage and failing to comply with existing facilities requirements. Those charges were thrown out in court.

The previous owner of the property, the Greene family, had a history of clashing with town of Blooming Grove officials over zoning, including a federal court case in 1989 challenging the town's treatment of building plans on the hotel site.

Keen Equities LLC filed for bankruptcy protection this past November.

Steven Barshov, an environmental attorney for Keen Equities, said the project "complies" with the village code. "We're not asking for any zoning changes."

The developer's representatives met with members of the village's Community Design Review Committee in April and June to discuss the plans, Barshov said the developers used input from those "informal" meetings to alter some of its plans. For example, the project initially would have included some property outside of the village but that was removed out of a desire not to "complicate" matters with an annexation process, Barshov said.

Village Mayor Robert Jeroloman did not return messages seeking comment. Planning Board chairman Julius Sas could not be reached for comment.

Planning Board member Robert Corrado said the board hasn't had a chance to view the materials or discuss the project yet.

The planning board next meets on Aug. 14 but Corrado said it is unclear whether the board will discuss the proposal. An application needs to be received by the 20th of the previous month to make it onto the agenda, he said. The Keen Equities project application was received by the village on July 21.

To contact reporter Nathan Mayberg, email comm.reporter@strausnews.com or call 845-469-9000 ext. 359.

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