Subdivision would aid Cochecton parks

By LINDA DROLLINGER
Posted 8/19/20

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — A little-known provision of Cochecton’s zoning ordinance may prove a windfall to the town’s parks. If the town’s planning board approves the proposed …

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Subdivision would aid Cochecton parks

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LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — A little-known provision of Cochecton’s zoning ordinance may prove a windfall to the town’s parks. If the town’s planning board approves the proposed Pine Meadows Farm subdivision application at its next meeting on August 27, the 92-acre, 17-lot parcel lining both sides of Route 52 between Old County Road and Kelly Road will be levied $355 per lot.

“I didn’t even know the fee schedule was in there,” admitted planning board chair Earl Bertsch at the August 12 meeting of the Cochecton Town Board. That’s probably because this is the first major subdivision application the town has received since the ordinance was adopted in 2011. Developed by planning consultant Tom Shepstone, the ordinance is designed to guarantee at least one recreational area for the use of subdivision dwellers.

To meet that guarantee, subdivision developers are required either to donate a parcel of land to the town expressly for recreational use or to pay to the town a pre-determined fee per lot, which may then be applied to existing town recreational facilities.

Supervisor Gary Maas told developer New York State Land & Lakes Representative Alan Lord that the town already has three leased parks, two of them in close proximity to the proposed subdivision. “Heinle’s Field in Cochecton Center and Sol Katzoff Memorial Park in Lake Huntington are both close to the proposed subdivision,” said Maas, mentioning that the town’s third park is located in the hamlet of Cochecton.

Deputy supervisor Ed Grund mentioned that the town’s youth commission has proposed the development of a fourth park to be located on town-owned property adjacent to the town hall and Sol Katzoff Memorial Park. Development of that park has been delayed for more than two years, pending receipt of money for creation of its combined basketball/pickleball/tennis courts. But Maas was inclined to spend the $6,035 total subdivision lot fee money in maintaining and upgrading the three existing parks. “That’s just my opinion,” said Maas.

That opinion may derive from long experience with the unexpected costs of maintaining and upgrading any town facility. The next order of business was to deal with the unexpected failure of one of the sewer district beds. This particular type of failure has not happened in the collective memory of sewer officers George and Michael Walter, which dates back to 1971.

“We don’t know what’s causing it, so we don’t know what kind of cost we’re looking at to fix it,” said sewer officer Michael Walter.

“Well, for starters, let’s get hourly rates for several contractors,” said Maas. “We’ll take it from there.”

Walter did know that tropical storm Isaias overtaxed the sewer system as a whole with abnormally heavy flow. He asked that the public not dump sump pump and storm drain waters into the sewer system.

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