Scenic Hudson to Subdivide Property

Nearly 13 acres in Cold Spring

By Michael Turton

Scenic Hudson has submitted preliminary plans to the Cold Spring Planning Board indicating that it intends to subdivide the Campbell property located on the Boulevard. Documents submitted by Badey and Watson Surveying and Engineering for consideration at the Planning Board’s Wednesday (Sept. 2) meeting state that the 12.7-acre property will be split, with approximately 8 acres dedicated to parkland and the remaining section to be sold as a single, residential lot.

The property, acquired by Scenic Hudson in 2009, features panoramic views of the Hudson River and Foundry Cove and lies above and adjacent to the West Point Foundry Preserve, also owned by Scenic Hudson.

The historic house located on the Campbell property was built in 1811.

The historic house located on the Campbell property was built in 1811.

Single-family dwellings, parks, playgrounds and other municipal recreation uses are permitted under the property’s current R-3 zoning. The portion of the property slated to be sold includes the historic Campbell house, and Scenic Hudson’s proposal states that the residential lot would be offered “for sale with significant restrictions on further development.”

The only development being considered for the parkland portion of the property is the construction of an overlook area. An existing driveway off the Boulevard would continue to be used for maintenance purposes and could also serve the new residential lot. Alternatively, a second driveway could be added.

In an email to The Paper, Scenic Hudson’s Director of Parks Rita Shaheen said her organization “looked closely at multiple options for use of the property and the house” and that the subdivision approach “best maximizes public benefit while providing a viable and financially feasible approach to restoration and use of the historic residence.” She added that the historic home would be sold to “someone committed to restoring and caring for it as a single-family residence.”

The road leading into the Campbell property would be kept for maintenance purposes and possibly for access to a residential lot.

The road leading into the Campbell property would be kept for maintenance purposes and possibly for access to a residential lot.

According to Carolyn Bachan, a member of the Historic District Review Board, the house was built in 1811, and an 1840 map depicted it as being owned by William Kemble, one of the founders of the West Point Foundry. The house is now part Cold Spring’s Historic District and is subject to relevant provisions of the Village Code.

Creation of the residential lot would put that portion of the property back on the village tax rolls. Currently, the entire tract is tax-exempt because Scenic Hudson is a nonprofit organization.

Planning Board Chair Donald MacDonald said no action was taken at this week’s meeting but commented on the preliminary proposal in an email to The Paper: “Scenic Hudson should be … commended for proposing to permanently preserve the existing single-family residence … and, as well, create a public park. The board anticipates a formal application will be received and reviewed at our first October meeting.”

Photos by M. Turton

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