Philipstown Approves Lake Valhalla Split

Scenic Hudson will donate 520 acres for state park

The Philipstown Planning Board last week unanimously approved a Scenic Hudson proposal to subdivide 765 acres of a 1,178-acre tract at Lake Valhalla, near the Putnam-Dutchess and Philipstown-Fishkill boundary.

Convening by Zoom on Sept. 17, the board approved the land division, also called a lot-line adjustment, without comment, following weeks of review, discussion and public input.

An alpine-esque blue jewel, Lake Valhalla has a small residential community and is set among trees and hillsides.

 Scenic Hudson’s land borders Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve, which is slated to benefit from the subdivision. The environmental organization intends to put 520.5 acres, known as Parcel A, under a conservation easement until the state can add it to the park system. 

A second portion, Parcel B, about 193.5 acres, which contains a picnic area, tennis courts and trails, will be transferred to a Lake Valhalla homeowner association under a conservation easement. 

The last piece, Parcel C, about 52 acres, with one or two homes, would be sold but likewise protected by a conservation easement. Lake Valhalla is in Parcels B and C.

At Planning Board hearings over the summer, some homeowners expressed fears that adding land around Lake Valhalla to the state park system would bring hordes of hikers to their backyards, replicating the congestion at Breakneck Ridge, about 3.5 mountainous miles away. Parks officials said they have no plans to add more trails, parking lots or any visitor-lures to land the state acquires.

Route 9 warehouse

In other action, the Planning Board continued, into October, a public hearing on a proposed 20,340-square foot warehouse, with offices, on Route 9 about a third of a mile south of the Route 301 intersection. The extension allows board members as well as the public more time to digest additional traffic-impact studies supplied by the applicant, CRS International, which is based in Philipstown.

Neighbors have told the Planning Board that they worry about the safety ramifications of having large tractor-trailers access the 2.5-acre site, which is zoned highway-commercial.

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