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General News: NYMA Lays Out Plans for Development

NYMA board president David Fields presents the proposal for subdividing the NYMA property.
NYMA board president David Fields presents the proposal for subdividing the NYMA property.
NYMA representatives listen to the town council on Monday.  From l to r: David Fields, site developer Ray Yannone, NYMA interim superintendent Maj. Jeffrey Coverdale and investor Wayne Corts.
NYMA representatives listen to the town council on Monday. From l to r: David Fields, site developer Ray Yannone, NYMA interim superintendent Maj. Jeffrey Coverdale and investor Wayne Corts.
In the plan, the yellow area is the existing campus, the pink area is the area designated for residential houses and lots, the blue area is potentially residential or commercial, the green area across 9W is The Farm, and the orange area is the playing fields and stables.
In the plan, the yellow area is the existing campus, the pink area is the area designated for residential houses and lots, the blue area is potentially residential or commercial, the green area across 9W is The Farm, and the orange area is the playing fields and stables.
December 08, 2010

The president of the New York Military Academy board of trustees presented a proposal for zoning changes to the town of Cornwall council on Monday in a long-awaited public discussion of how the 121-acre school property will be developed.

NYMA president David Fields described the proposed development of 18 single-family homes and the possible creation of adult active housing in unused dormitories near Academy Avenue. He also said that the school intends to apply for an exemption to a building moratorium that was approved by the town council in September.

Fields introduced a color-coded plan that divided the school property into five zones. One portion, approximately 39 acres, will remain as the school campus. A second area along Faculty Road would require subdividing to lead to the sale of 11 existing homes and the construction of 18 new homes on lots, some facing the Hudson River. A third area includes two large buildings that could be converted into either adult active residences, high-density housing for emergency response personnel or offices. Fields said the school is open to input on future use of those buildings, which he would like to see be zoned for either high-density residential or commercial use. He also said the school has no immediate plan for a 35-acre parcel on the west side of Route 9W that he called The Farm.

The remaining area includes the horse stables and playing fields that the town of Cornwall has expressed interest in purchasing. Fields said that the school is willing to grant easements for the athletic fields but is not ready to discuss the sale of the fields to the town. The town council voted in August to pursue the possibility of purchasing some of the property and has had an appraisal on it completed.

Town council member Al Mazzocca pressed Fields about the town’s interest, saying it had offered to purchase the fields and the two large buildings near Academy Avenue. “You can achieve all the goals by selling to the town without going through all the rigmarole of selling off lots,” he told Fields.

Fields said that technically NYMA hasn’t received an offer from the town and stressed that the sale of the individual homes and lots is key to paying off the loans that are keeping the military academy open. “It is premature to strike a deal with anyone,” Fields commented. He said the school hoped to realize $6 million in the sale of the residential units, enough to pay back the $5.8 million loan provided by three local businessmen in July that allowed the school to stay open.

Councilman Kerry McGuinness, who also leads the committee that will recommend changes to the town’s master plan, said he thought the biggest issue would be the high density housing that is being sought for the former dormitories.

“We are also looking at future needs for town government,” McGuiness told the NYMA representative, “but the most controversial issue could be the high density housing.”

At the close of the presentation, all parties agreed that the next step would be NYMA’s application for an exemption from the building moratorium, a process that could take at least two or three months.



Comments:

I Request for the Town to Maintain their Position toward Safeguarding the Playing Fields & Surrounding Acreage of NYMA.

This is Preferable to most all rather than that of congested Housing Development in this Pristine Area.


Respectfully,


Brian M.Tourville
nyma Class 1971


posted by brian tourville on 12/08/10 at 1:19 AM

My impression of the meeting was that NYMA continues to look out for it's own bottom line. They are not giving anything away for free. They are interested in increasing their own value as to become more attractive as an entity. This is a fair position. I do give the Town Board credit for some very good pointed questioning. The meeting seemed all well and good except for one thing that bothered me. That section west of 9W they call "The Farm" was almost completely glossed over. That is a huge chunk of the property to not have any plans for. With all the development along the west side of 9w you would think it was just as high a priority to secure. All it would take would be for the floundering development currently underway to fail and be bought out. That land and "The Farm" would make a huge chunk of the town to exploit. We need to safeguard "The Farm".


posted by J Klein on 12/08/10 at 6:12 AM

How about tearing down the buildings that are proposed for high density use. They are most likely enneficient. The site could be used as additional athletic fields.


posted by j h on 12/08/10 at 1:45 PM

Cornwall does not need high density or senior housing....the cornwall commons is documentation in and of itself. This is typical and in true form of a set up....the buildings will not sell, or be populated (even though there may be overwhelming "applications" of those desiring to fill the housing)....this is all part of a master plan...the school prides itself on its academics and desirablity...have they considered the effect of a parent considering to send its child to what was once a rolling campus to what could easily be a densly populated and perhaps lower income "project"....or worse, and eyesore left to sit, half built, until the age restrictions can be removed in order to allow anyone to populate the units. In my humble opinion, this is a total set up, and the town is more vulnerable than ever.


posted by Rachael Skigen on 12/08/10 at 5:06 PM

Rachael, I believe you are talking about the building sitting idle at the corner of Quaker and Cedar, not Cornwall Commons.


posted by kate goodspeed on 12/08/10 at 8:37 PM

Thanks Kate...that's what I meant.


posted by Rachael Skigen on 12/09/10 at 10:54 AM

1) Just where do they expect to get all these senior citizens or emergency
personnel? Quite a puzzle to me.

2) NYMA's plan is for us to approve high density housing so if NYMA ends of on the seller's
block it will be very difficult to fight high density housing. This is a blue
print for those wishing for high density to get what they want.

I would hope the citizens of Cornwall and the entire board have a better self image of
themselves than NYMA seems to think we have. I do not think we were born yesterday.

If NYMA wants some things (if they truly want to succeed and I am not even
sure of that, judging by what I read), Cornwall should get substantial
consideration in return. It is not a one way street where
Cornwall gives, NYMA takes, and Cornwall loses.

This is a paste job from an email I sent to the Town Board. Sorry if it prints in a choppy manner.


posted by L Bellin on 12/09/10 at 5:55 PM

What is the true definition of High density Housing. Is an apartment complex considered high density? or muilti family. Either one should be discouraged. Lets be educated someone who knows please post. I am concerned that the above posts are on target. Are you?


posted by j h on 12/09/10 at 8:50 PM

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