17 Carpenter Rd
Hopewell Jct. NY
August 10, 2002
Hopewell Jct., N.Y.
Mr.Idema/ Town Board:
As the public comment period draws to a close, I would like to add to the input that you have taken from the residents.
The message that I heard loudly and clearly at the meetings was that the residents are weary of the rampant development this town has experienced. You especially are aware that the infrastructure has not kept pace with the building boom. The residents are screaming for a building moratorium. The board seems reluctant to take this step and risk litigation. At the very least the Board should link all new development to infrastructure improvement in the form of significant fees to be used for highway improvements. This shifts the costs to multi-lot developers instead of the taxpayers. If the fee is hefty enough, the effect may be a slowing of the runaway train the town seems unable to control. The town already has water, sewer, and roadway problems it can't deal with and the never ending list of developments "on the drawingboard" only makes your problems harder as builder after builder lines up. Such a fee could be a tool to slow growth.
A second area of concern is cluster development. At first this seems like a good idea which will preserve open space. But, I urge you to include in all such approvals, provisions for maintenance of the preserved land (removal of downed trees, water problems etc.) so that the residents enjoying the "cluster" know they are paying for the maintenance collectively, not the town. More importantly, the language of all such approvals must be ironclad to prevent some clever builder from distorting the Town's intent and adding to the number of units as property values rise. One only has to drive through formerly wooded areas of Long Island to know that many will build huge houses ten feet from each other, and oddly, buyers will line up. If your intent is preservation, make it VERY clear.
Finally, I would like to mention that there IS a struggle between the desire of those who live here and those who want to develop more and more of the town. The Town Board is elected by the residents, and the members are themselves residents. The priority in all conflicting issues should be to lean to the side of the existing residents first. For example, why should the way of life for the residents along CR29 have to change because the gravel industry wants a more convenient route between I84 and Lagrange? It should not change and the Town should do everything it can to prevent such a change. That is the responsibility of elected officials. I request that the Town drop from its master plan the call for an overpass at the Taconic and Carpenter Rd., effectively making CR29 into a truck route. I urge the Board to support the alternatives proposed by many residents, such as use of the rail right of way and a Stormville Rd/Beekman Rd connector (using Central Hudson right of way). We will avoid having to amend the Town's slogan to "East Fishkill was a great place to live" and maybe even add " a town where the people come first"
Thank you for the long hours you've put into this project. Fine-tune it for our children's legacy.
John P. Calogero