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Comments on the East Fishkill Master Plan
for Public Hearing July 25, 2002 - by Susan Kamm

Since the last town Master Plan meeting in May, changes were made and we appreciate having been heard. But in the case of R2 to R3, part of Stormville Mountain is still unjustly bearing the brunt of selective and/or spot zoning. I contend that to single out this site is overkill because current zoning regulations and DEP fulfill the same obligations of protection. The situation has not changed from the time when town fathers found R2 to be satisfactory in the last Master Plan.

Why does it seem that this particular area falls prey to "picking and choosing" when maps from the Hudsonia study reveal the same amount of sensitive land in both sections? Why is only half this site being singled out? Is this politics as usual?

I am therefore forced to follow the imperatives of logic and fairness and will have to continue to speak out and to search further for answers and truths.

I first became involved with the proposed Master Plan because of concerns regarding my property. I was not happy with the kind of response that I received when trying to research the logic behind decisions, and sought out other groups in the community for support.

In democratically run "grass root" meetings, my eyes were opened, and I began to see that there were issues that were far greater than my singular concern.

If the Plan is accepted as is, every resident will feel the impact of increased traffic, higher school taxes, higher town taxes, water and waste problems, poorer air quality, and the loss of much of East Fishkills scenic beauty.

Symptomatic of the town boards attitude was its warm welcome of Sharbell Development Corporation plans for a 260 unit proposed cluster development in Stormville at the intersection of route 216 and 52. This is very high density per acre, considering that 60% of the 391 acres is wetlands. But more important, the infrastructure for this development and others on the drawing board will NOT be in place. Infrastructure must be in place first. It is the logical and rational way to proceed. You cannot put the cart before the horse without inviting catastrophe.

In this light, before the town invites new residents, the board must first take care of its own by maintaining a reasonable growth rate, have infrastructures in place before allowing certain development, and to protect us from "hit and run" developers. We are all partners in this larger picture of East Fishkill.

East Fishkill has become a microcosm of the world around us, exhibiting an inability to deal with modern societies problems while maintaining the quality of life residents have enjoyed in the past. I plead with the Board at this time not to rubber stamp the plan as it stands, not to make themselves adversaries of the community, but to invite concerned citizens to work along with them. I ask Mr. Idema and the town board to employ their singular vested power to heal the community. I speak not only for myself in expressing my love for East Fishkill and my dismay at the possibility of bruising it, but I speak for my partners. Why not let "nonpolitical" leaders in this community work with you to hone and enhance the Master Plan. There is no reason to rush. Let's do it right, so that our plan will become a benchmark for other communities.

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