The Town of Lockport Planning Board gave the Woodlands Mobile Home Park another step for its plans to expand another 116 lots over a 77.2-acre property.

The mobile home park, owned by Equity Lifestyle Properties, received an approval on its environmental impact mitigation plan (SEQR) which includes replacing 2.77-acres of federal wetlands with 5.5-acres in another area of the property. The project will not affect the remaining 46.5-acres of wetlands and, “will consist of Permanent Open Space ... per the requirements of the United States Army Corps of Engineers,” as written by Rob Pidanick of Nussbaumer & Clarke, an engineering firm hired by Equity Lifestyle Properties.

Issues answered in a letter from Pidanick to Drew Reilly, Wendel engineer, included construction taking over a year to complete, erosion, surface water impacts, drainage, impairment of ecosystem, transportation, energy, lighting, near remediated site and additional community services, predominant architectural scale, character of existing natural landscape.

“Impact on surface water,” Reilly said. “A lot of this relates to the wetlands and the stormwater plan.”

Reilly explained to members of the board that the project included stormwater ponds, wetland mitigation, dredging materials from wetlands and joining wetlands together.

“Normally, we would say, ‘Oh my god, they’re impacting wetlands! They’re filling wetlands, they’re draining!’ But in this case they have a permit from Army Corps of Engineers to mitigate that impact to wetlands being removed,” he said.

The topic of wetlands were also addressed by Reilly when speaking of the ecosystem, as well as impact on animals.

“Nothing showed up as endangered species on this site as inspected by the DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation),” Reilly said. “We do want to talk a little bit now, because they’re impacting the wetlands which is a significant habitat.”

For all wetland consideration, Reilly did relate to the board that Equity Lifestyle Properties were mitigating the impact by creating at a 2:1 ratio of existing wetlands being drained for double the amount being created for the project.

The planning board agreed unanimously to approve the level of environmental impact made by the new project. Pidanick note that construction would not begin until the spring of 2022.

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