TOWN OF WALLKILL - Some residents think the town has more homework to do when it comes to approving a planned residential development application for a property where apartments have been proposed across from the Galleria at Crystal Run mall.


Several third-ward residents, where the project is proposed, have said the development could drastically change that part of the town.


"This is not a thoughtful process," said Ovid Figueroa Jr., a roofer who lives with his family in the third ward.


Third Ward Councilman Neil Meyer said he has a lot of questions about putting housing in the town's "commercial center," across from the shopping hub that is owned by the company that is proposing this apartment complex.


On a 4.9-acre lot at the corner of Smith Road and Galleria Drive, Pyramid Management Group, owner of the Galleria at Crystal Run, has applied for planned residential development (PRD) approval on a town center district-zoned property, which officials plan to officially vote on at the March 26 town board meeting.


To grant the approval, the Wallkill Town Board would have to amend the overlay district town code to allow PRD approval on a four-acre plot, rather than the now-mandated five-acre plot, but the density would be capped at 250 units for a residential building. Pyramid plans to build between 100 and 250 units on the property that could go up to 65 feet high.


Meyer cautioned by phone Thursday that if the town does not have the right infrastructure to make the project work, "then these benefits aren't there.“


He wants to have answers to all of his questions before the PRD is voted on, such as what the local fire departments think of the safety of the yet-to-be-proposed building, who would pay for connecting water and sewer to it, and how the traffic in the area would be impacted by the additional cars.


Town officials have claimed Meyer is “spreading misinformation,” saying he is putting the cart before the horse.


"Unless the PRD happens, the conversation can't occur. ... He's grasping at straws," Town Supervisor Frank DenDanto said by phone Thursday.


Second-ward Councilman Eric Valentin, who represents another ward that has higher-density buildouts, said Meyers’ questions would be fleshed out in the planning process of the project if the PRD were to pass.


"We as a town can't stop development, but we can certainly direct it," Valentin said.