Sugar Loaf Hills proposal includes hotel, bank, and gas station Village officials want to annex small town parcel to make commercial development a reality
Sugar Loaf Hills LLC is located at Kings Highway and Brookside Avenue/17M in Chester, owned by Robert Young and Oddvor Egenes Young (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)
By Frances Ruth Harris SUGAR LOAF — Sugar Loaf Hills LLC wants to build a hotel, bank and gas station on some vacant land at the end of Kings Highway, at Brookside Avenue/17M. Village of Chester officials say they want to annex a small piece of town land needed before the proposal can go forward. They emphasize that the project is still in the concept stage. Robert Young and Egenes Oddvar Young own the property (section block lot: 114-4-2), which would need to be rezoned after annexation, if it happens. “As of now, no zoning has been requested," said planning board secretary Sandra Van Riper. "The annexation needs to occur first.” Studies on water, sewer, traffic and landscaping will also be needed. Town supervisor resistsTown Supervisor Alex Jamieson suggested cutting a deal: village water in exchange for the small town piece. At the Dec. 13 town board meeting, Jamieson said he would call the village mayor, Tom Bell, to discuss the proposal, which might involve "doing something with the water at the senior building.” Jamieson said the town is being charged out-of-district water rates at the senior building and the police department. Maybe they can make a deal so that everyone benefits from the annexation, he suggested. But town attorney Scott Bonacic shot the idea down. Jamieson said the annexation proposal came up at least ten years ago, under another supervisor. At that time, he said, the town told the village it would not allow annexation to go forward. Annexation just gives away the town's properties, said Jamieson. "This was a benefit to the village, and the town doesn’t get anything," he said. But, he said, it seems he just couldn’t "wheel and deal and stuff." Bonacic said annexation is "in the overall public interest," and the petition to annex couldn't be ignored. Bonacic said the state-required environmental review still has to be done. He said it would not be as extensive as the one done for BT Holdings, a proposed townhouse development for which much more land was annexed from the town to the village. The town and village will need to hold a joint hearing when the time comes, Bonacic said.