Developer: Patterson Crossing coming soon
The Journal News
January 3, 2008

PATTERSON - Developer Paul Camarda sees 2008 as the year construction starts on Patterson Crossing, his large retail center planned for the Kent-Patterson border.

Camarda made a similar prediction last January about 2007. However, the new year finds him possibly just some last touches away from an approved, final environmental study for the shopping center. In addition, Camarda and the Kent Planning Board have settled their financial differences when it comes to funding that town's review of the project.

But neighbors still see the proposed shopping center, which will sit next to Kent's Lake Carmel neighborhood, as too large, too much of a threat to the lake's health and a producer of too much traffic for the area's roads - among other factors.

"I'm within 500 feet of it. You don't have to put it in my backyard," said Joan Castiner of Kent, who is worried blasting on the nearby 90 acres will endanger the neighborhood.

Camarda unveiled his proposed shopping center in 2004, which he's now shrunk from 439,500 to 374,000 square feet of retail space. Retailers for the site off Route 311 near Interstate 84 are said to include a Lowe's home improvement store and a Costco warehouse store.

The Patterson Planning Board, which is leading the environmental review, in November rejected his final environmental study as incomplete and is awaiting revisions.

"There wasn't anything major, a lot of little issues," Patterson Town Planner Rich Williams said.

Many, Williams said, were requests for better explanations from Camarda and his consultants.

For example, Williams said, the final study said residents within 500 feet would be notified prior to any blasting. The Patterson Planning Board wanted to know why that figure wasn't 1,000 feet or even 250 feet.

Camarda said yesterday that he was "following the (review) process in a diligent and meticulous manner."

"It is our intention to not only meet but also exceed the environmental regulations," he said. "This is evidenced by our extraordinary efforts to improve the water quality in Lake Carmel. We are committed to doing this project right."

He has promised storm drains and other measures to improve the lake's health - efforts at which lake advocates have scoffed.

Once the additional information is received and the Patterson board deems the study complete, other agencies, such as the county health department, and the public can examine the document. Meanwhile, the Kent Planning Board is ready to review the proposal, especially the parts in its town: one building, the entrance road and several ponds that will collect melting snow and rain running off the property.

The Kent board last month received an additional $7,500 from the developer, bringing the total amount Camarda has given the town to pay its consultants to $12,500.

The Kent board will take up the matter at its workshop tonight and its regular meeting next week.

"It will be a long and thorough process," Planning Board Chairman Arthur Singer said.