"JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN DOESN'T MEAN YOU SHOULD"
856 BOSTON POST ROAD
CLUSTER HOUSING PROJECT
In 2018 and 2019, Madison Zoning law was amended to allow for “Cluster Housing” in residential zones along the Boston Post Road corridor. This change allows for high density redevelopment of existing single family properties. The current construction activity on the Southeastern corner of the intersection of East Wharf Road and the Boston Post Road represents the first example of this new reality.
856 Boston Post Road, LLC, is a legal entity formed to develop the above pictured parcel into a high density cluster of dwellings. Proposed is a new 18 foot wide driveway servicing seven family dwellings providing twenty bedrooms and parking for 19 vehicles. This is all to take place on "The Ledges" property, an historic Madison Landmark sitting on but 1.81 acres of sloping rock ledge in the heart of our downtown village.
This is the site as proposed:
THIS IS THE WRONG PROJECT FOR THE SITE!!
...LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD:
David Anderson, Madison Town Planner
8 Campus Drive
Plan to attend:
Inland Wetlands Zoom Meeting: May 17 at 7p.m.
Post Script: Inland wetlands Passed the proposal, with contingencies, at that meeting
Planning and Zoning Zoom Meeting of May 20 was continued to
June 3 at 7p.m.
PLEASE ATTEND! This is the meeting where the voices of opposition to this proposal will finally be presented
Instructions and link to the meeting will be found on the Planning and Zoning website>Hearing notices
As stated in Section 4.4.2 of the Special Exception Code:
All Special Exemption Permits may be granted subject to conditions and safeguards required to preserve public health, safety, convenience, welfare and the property values of surrounding areas
Please consider the following points:
This plan will require the blasting and removal of massive quantities of ledge as well as the importation of similar volumes of landfill in order to reshape the existing landscape to suit the needs of the project. There is considerable concern being raised regarding the immediate and long term effects of such a large blasting project in a confined residential neighborhood. Areas of concern include potential damage to nearby foundations, buildings and water service lines as well as disruption of local wildlife, which abounds in the area. A highly qualified blasting expert has been retained to analyze and report on this issue. Click HERE to read his report.
The potentially damaging effect of re-contouring of the existing landscape cannot be predicted with regard to contaminated runoff affecting local wetlands and existing drainage pathways leading directly into Long Island Sound. Moreover, the effect of local pollution both from blasting and contaminated stormwater runoff has not been sufficiently addressed by the applicant. Click HERE to read an analysis of these issues.
Septic waste management: Two separate experts have raised serious questions regarding the proposed septic system put forth in the plans for the site. Issues are raised regarding a myriad of deficiencies, including the lack of regulatory compliance, a failure to consider stormwater overloading of leaching fields, and a failure to provide a contingency plan in the event of system failure or overload. See excerpts of their comments and HERE and HERE.
Old Boston Post Road, AKA Birnbaum Lane, represents the street frontage of this development, which is already overburdened with vehicular traffic, limited in space for parking, and provides inadequate passageway for pedestrians.
Emergency vehicular access is already limited by the confines of Birnbaum Lane.
From the Madison Historical Society: "The proposed development of this expansive property with its landmark historic structure named The Ledges will negatively impact the historic character of the Town of Madison." Read their letter of concern regarding the project HERE .
The adverse impact on wildlife and its natural habitat from blasting, removal of trees, and the negative affects of construction. All the photographs shown at the end of this website were taken in the vicinity of the proposed project.
This project represents a simple money grab by the property owner and the developer; the benefits to our town (tax revenue) are vastly outweighed by the negatives described herein.
The proposal blatantly disregards the historic value of the site and its surrounding properties. Moreover, it continues and encourages the opening of the Pandora’s box of financially driven cluster development along the Boston Post Road corridor.
What you see may very well not be what you get: There are significant differences between what was originally approved for the General's Residence and what is being built at the site.
THE PEOPLE SPEAK:
There are currently nearly 100 letters posted on the Madison P&Z website document center regarding the Ledges Cluster Housing Application, 90% of which state opposition to the plan. HERE is a link to the center, which also contains all the public documentation regarding the application. Following are excerpts from several of those letters as well as photographs of wildlife captured in close proximity to the Ledges property:
Photo by A. Allen
"Why would a special exception permit for high density, cluster housing even be considered in a residential neighborhood? This home is NOT across from a gas station and it is not in a commercial zone. It is in a residential neighborhood and beautiful, older, single family houses surround it. Would this “special exception permit” also allow other neighbors in the Post road east zone owning 1.8+ acres, to also “cash in” on this “special exception opportunity?"
Bobcat Photo by J. Downes
"I was disheartened to hear the applicant’s attorney completely discount the presence of wildlife and natural areas on the adjacent properties to 856 Boston Post Road."
Coyote Photo by G. Birnbaum
Fox Photo by J. Downes
Egret Photo by T. Phillips
"I am very strongly against this project. Why are you letting our once beautiful historical down town deteriorate ? I just do not understand how you are allowing this to happen. Is it all about making$$? I have lived in Madison for almost 50 years and it breaks my heart to see what is happening. I am not a political person or a highly influential person. I am just one of the very many who does not understand your responsibility to preserving our beautiful town we love so much. Build these someplace else."
"As stated in Section 4.4.2 of the Special Exception code: 4.4.2 All Special Exception Permits may be granted subject to conditions and safeguards required to preserve public health, safety, convenience, welfare and the property values of surrounding areas. I would love to have a detailed study review on how this project doesn’t impact negatively on the health of the village with the large addition of septic tank "...regarding the proposal for, I believe, 6 condos on one of the residential properties along the Post Road. While I was in favor of the project to tear down the Captain's [sic] residence and build condos, I was afraid that, once one project was approved, others might try to change the residential features and flavor of downtown Madison. It is a slippery slope and approving this project would speed our way down it."flow and the excessive runoff expected from the increased roofing and hardscape. Safety is reduced with the additional traffic flow and one can only imagine trying to make left turns onto East Wharf from the Birnbaum Lane… how are the welfare and property values of the surrounding area not negatively impacted?"
"The Ledges - an iconic property built by one of Madison’s founding families, the Scrantons, has stood majestically undisturbed in its present location since 1903. Surrounding this treasured home stand several other well loved antique homes, meticulously maintained and revered by many who come to admire Madison’s lovely downtown area. To even consider allowing developmental tampering with this sacred parcel is egregious, shortsighted and quite frankly, greedy."
"Please say ‘no’ to the cluster housing development at 856 Boston Post Road. It is the wrong development for the site. Unlike the General's Residence which was a blight on the edge of town...This development destroys one of the few natural beauties directly within the village community and will effectively lower the quality of life in the surrounding neighborhood. We will never be able to recover the original residence of the Ledges once it is gone."
"As a lifelong resident of Madison I'm shocked and appalled in the way the zoning regulations have been treated with respect to The General's Residence and the proposed Ledges projects."
"It appears you are giving priority to builders, contractors, and realtors."
"As a 42 year resident of Madison and having attended many Zoning meetings I have never seen a Special Exception permit request approved as quickly as the General’s Residence nor have I ever witnessed the blatant disregard for opposition letters and comments. Now the General’s Residence Cluster will be used as leverage to destroy more of our wonderful town."
"It is clear from this Special Exception Permit Application that this project will not at all serve “the public convenience and welfare,” as required in Town Zoning Regulations. The proposed development will only benefit the applicant at the expense of both neighboring and surrounding properties."
Thank you for your support.
For questions or comments,