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Think again about the school property

July 7, 2011

As the Town of Tusten moves to consider the disposition of the Narrowsburg Rural Central School property, I invite the powers that be to consider the following.

All zoning, according to the laws of the State of New York, is derived from the comprehensive (aka master) plan of the community. The comprehensive plan of the Town of Tusten recognizes that 73% of the residents desire that our zoning laws preserve the rural character of the town. Note also that every “green” initiative and planning tool recognizes the need for open space, which is often accomplished by the preservation of park land. Currently, the two major properties being considered up for re-zoning are, or encompass, open space park land.

Sustainable development should be addressed in any discussion of planning re-use of these properties. In fact, sustainability should become a major platform of any initiative for major development which is presented to the Town of Tusten. The town would do well to study and consider adoption of the Living Building Challenge, which can be viewed at www.Ilbc.org, as a development platform. I am a member of International Living Building Challenge, and I am willing to access any information that may be desired.

There are also infrastructure issues. Any major development of these properties will require major improvements in the storm water sewer system in the Town of Tusten. That this cost be borne by the taxpayers is unreasonable. If these properties go into heavy development, the burden of any infrastructure improvements should be borne by the developer. Consideration must also be given to upgrades of the Narrowsburg Water District. A hotel would, more than likely, need to have a fire sprinkler system installed. Can the current infrastructure of the Narrowsburg Water District handle the increased flow, and does it have the necessary pressure to flow adequate water for a suppression system?

The two parcels of school property that are driving this current “need” to rezone represent the labor, the love and the financial support of generations of the former Narrowsburg Central School District. Their desire was to provide the best facility to educate their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This land should not be sold at a distress sale to meet the financial goals of business. To do so dishonors the work of generations of families.