Land Use/Zoning: Town & Village

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5 Responses to "Land Use/Zoning: Town & Village"

  1. Judith Rose   May 9, 2011 at 9:00 am

    On Saturday May 14th the Special Board for the comprehensive plan will be holding a meeting to talk about Marathon, Dockside and the Village Garage sites. If you are at all interested in the use of these sites, I wholeheartedly suggest you stop in. A planner was asked to draft some sketches to allow everyone help visualizing what they could look like. You can see photos of the plans if you go to flickr.com and search for “Cold Spring LWRP”.
    It has been a while since the open space committee I served on has been disbanded, but as memory serves me, the vast majority of input for the Marathon site is not represented on the drawing. I am not sure how the planner came up with his ideas, but they are not what I remember as folks wanting to see. It includes for instance, putting the village garage in the middle of residential houses, (a lot of houses) and includes development far too close to ridge area which folks wanted to preserve for both historic and view shed reasons. It is almost as if the planner was designing for the benefit of the developer and his bottom line, not for our benefit. Right now the property is zoned industrial- we don’t have to have such density, and we can control the open space and viewshed issues. And I am mystified why we would want to send all our highway dept trucks in and out Rock and Kemble to the site.
    I really hope as many of you as possible go down and provide your input on this (and other drawings.) or send them a letter if you can’t. The special board very much wants to do as the public wants- so help them get redirected!

  2. Christopher Boyle   May 19, 2011 at 7:20 am

    We have a simple solution to the problem of where to put the Cold Spring Post Office when its lease is up soon–move the 5 postal trucks and the mail delivery operation to the large Post-Office-owned facility in nearby Beacon, and rent a store front on Main Street in Cold Spring for local residents to mail packages and letters and where they could buy stamps etc.

    There is no need for the owner of the strip mall on Chestnut Street (where the present Post Office is located) to tear down the existing building, build a new one next to it, find a place to park the 5 trucks etc. There is just too much congestion behind the Foodtown already to add to the traffic problem there, and realistically speaking, there will be an increasing trend in the Post Office towards centralized mail distribution in the very near future.

    If the Butterfield facility is available, that would, we believe, be a far more sensible option for the Post Office, if both of its divisions must be kept in Cold Spring, than the tiny cramped space in the strip mall.

    We would be interested in hearing comments from others.

    Christopher Boyle & Margaret Pfeffer
    Cold Spring

  3. Christopher Boyle   May 19, 2011 at 7:20 am

    We have a simple solution to the problem of where to put the Cold Spring Post Office when its lease is up soon–move the 5 postal trucks and the mail delivery operation to the large Post-Office-owned facility in nearby Beacon, and rent a store front on Main Street in Cold Spring for local residents to mail packages and letters and where they could buy stamps etc.

    There is no need for the owner of the strip mall on Chestnut Street (where the present Post Office is located) to tear down the existing building, build a new one next to it, find a place to park the 5 trucks etc. There is just too much congestion behind the Foodtown already to add to the traffic problem there, and realistically speaking, there will be an increasing trend in the Post Office towards centralized mail distribution in the very near future.

    If the Butterfield facility is available, that would, we believe, be a far more sensible option for the Post Office, if both of its divisions must be kept in Cold Spring, than the tiny cramped space in the strip mall.

    We would be interested in hearing comments from others.

    Christopher Boyle & Margaret Pfeffer
    Cold Spring

  4. Andy Chmar   June 13, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Last Friday, the Town Board of Philipstown unanimously adopted a resolution forcefully opposing legislation currently being considered by our legislators in Albany in the last week of the 2011 session. The Vested Rights Act, co-sponsored by our Senator Greg Ball and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin of lower Westchester, but opposed by our Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, proposes to freeze land use regulations for up to six years for development applications, irrespective of decisions by municipalities on their zoning and natural resource protection laws, including Philipstown’s recently adopted zoning code. This legislation seeks to overturn the balanced common law vested rights rule in favor of a pro-developer statutory vested rights rule—its bad law and it imposes statutory requirements upon municipalities at the expense of their home rule decisions.
    Many communities throughout the Hudson Valley are engaged in comprehensive planning to better provide for their needs and protect their values. It has always been the case that some developers, many of whom do not even live in the communities in which they build and could care less about the community’s needs and desires, would get around any new law implementing the community’s plans by obtaining permits under the old law before the new law takes effect. But the Vested Rights Act would make that unnecessary for properties in the counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester. The Act would vest in the developers for up to 63 months (more than five years) after the effective date of the new law the right to proceed under the old law. No securing of permits or expenditure of resources would be required before the effective date of the new law. All they would need to do to benefit from the Act is file a development application covering their parcels at least nine months and one day prior to such effective date. They could then take their time completing the application, getting the permits, and proceeding with their development, irrespective of the current zoning and the will of the community.
    No explanation is given why the five counties are singled out by Senator Ball and Assemblywoman Paulin in their legislation. But, one could conclude that they are the counties the developers pushing this Act find particularly ripe for development, or maybe it’s just that some legislators are particularly sympathetic to these interests, at the expense of taxpayers who will foot the bill for greater residential density and challenges to our zoning. Not surprisingly, prior attempts at a similar state-wide law have regularly failed over the past decade, which is exactly what should happen with this flawed attempt to impose it upon Putnam and surrounding counties. Philipstown’s Town Board took strong action last week to protect our community from more state intrusion, and we applaud this work on our behalf. Senator Ball and Assemblywoman Paulin should withdraw this misguided legislation and better represent the interests of their communities and its residents.

    Andy Chmar
    Executive Director
    Hudson Highlands Land Trust

  5. Andy Chmar   February 26, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Something Democrats and Republicans Can Agree On

    Dear Editor:

    Your readers should know about new legislation, championed by Representative Nan Hayworth, which has more than 300 House co-sponsors, including majorities of both Democrats and Republicans. It is one thing Congress actually agrees on!

    The Conservation Easement Incentive Act, H.R. 1964 seeks to make permanent a tax incentive for conservation that expired at the end of 2011. This incentive protects working family farms, clean water and natural areas by enhancing the federal tax benefits for landowners who donate conservation easements. These voluntary agreements help conserve natural resources important to the Hudson Highlands, while keeping the land in private ownership and on property tax rolls.

    Over the past 23 years, the Hudson Highlands Land Trust has partnered with landowners across Philipstown and Putnam Valley to preserve over 1500 acres through our conservation easement program. The enhancements in this bill are actually designed to benefit moderate income property owners, who have a greater need for the enhanced deduction limit and extended rollover period found in legislation. This will allow a greater majority of landowners to attain the full federal tax deduction for their conservation donation, while also achieving their preservation goals for the land they own.

    Since the federal tax deduction incentives were enacted by Congress in 2006, the Hudson Highlands Land Trust has been able to annually protect more than twice the acreage it did in its previous 16 years. With private land conservation being the most cost efficient means to preserve our natural resources and community character, we now call upon Congress to make this important conservation tool permanent.

    We applaud Congresswoman Hayworth for helping preserve the Highlands for future generations through her co-sponsorship of H.R. 1964, and hope that Senator Schumer will join Senator Gillibrand as a co-sponsor of the Senate’s Rural Heritage Conservation Extension Act, S. 339, as well. Thanks to thoughtful landowners and a helping hand from Congress, your local land trust will be able to conserve even more land in the years to come.

    Andy Chmar
    Executive Director
    Hudson Highlands Land Trust