Plattekill residents help shape town’s future

By Stacia Donaldson
Posted 6/12/19

What comes to mind when you think about the Town of Plattekill? If its residents have their way, the name Plattekill will conjure images of apple fields, mountain views and lots of new business. …

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Plattekill residents help shape town’s future

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What comes to mind when you think about the Town of Plattekill? If its residents have their way, the name Plattekill will conjure images of apple fields, mountain views and lots of new business. Approximately twenty Plattekill residents gathered at the Plattekill Firehouse to attend the second in a series of community visioning workshops to update the Town of Plattekill Comprehensive Master Plan.

Required by New York State, a comprehensive master plan incompasses both short and long range views that will both improve and innovate the town. Updates to the master plan will become the basis for zoning changes and capital improvement plans. This master plan update has a helping hand in the form of a grant provided by the Hudson River Valley Greenway (HRVG). HRVG is prepared to match town funds up to $10,000 with the stipulation that the money is used to help fund economic development. Currently in the first of three phases, members of the newly formed Master Plan committee are hard at work, gathering information from the people of Plattekill that will be used to create a vision for the town’s future. After gathering resident input, the committee will start to narrow its focus, gathering more detailed information.With all the necessary information, the committee draft the updated comprehensive master plan. The Town of Plattekill will be assisted by the planning firm Barton and Loguidice.

During the June 4 meeting, Bob Murphy, a planner from Barton and Loguidice, presented facts about the Plattekill of today. A 35 square mile town located in Ulster County, Plattekill is home to numerous small hamlets, apple orchards, and farms. The town’s land is divided primarily into residential (40%) and agricultural (21%) zones, with some commercial zones mixed in. At just over 10,000 residents, Plattekill’s population has remained stable over the last decade. In line with other NYS towns, the town is seeing a rise in the number of elderly residents. Historically, the town has experienced difficulty in the feeling of unity due primarily to its large size, amount of vacant housing (33%) ,and its inclusion in four different school districts. Using this information, Mr. Murphy urged attendees to work together, and develop their vision of the town of Plattekill in 2040.

With markers and post it notes in hand, the group got to work creating their vision. As experts on the town, the participants wrote their thoughts on what the town lacked, what it valued, and even marking future locations of new businesses on the town map. Their vision, a future Plattekill, will welcome both seniors and young families. It will provide safe walking trails, more local business, centrally located senior housing, and newly renovated homes. Thriving hamlets will be the norm, each with restaurants and entertainment that will rival the neighboring towns of Newburgh and New Paltz. Plattekill will still maintain its open spaces and apple fields, as they are important to its residents. The construction of tall buildings, addition of street lights and apartment complexes will be considered carefully to prevent obstructed views of the Shawangunks and Marlboro mountains. Tourism will become a bigger part of the town’s economy, with hiking trails, fishing holes and hunting areas available to enjoy. Overall, the Plattekill of 2040 will include greater unity and a renewed sense of community.

Phase one of the Master Plan update will continue through the summer, with the distribution of a brief survey, and two Master Plan Committee meetings. Interested residents can find a summary of the ideas developed at each of the two visionary meeting on the Town of Plattekill website. For up to date information, or to submit questions and comments on the master plan process, visit the Town of Plattekill Comprehensive Master Plan Facebook page. The committee hopes to start the second phase of the comprehensive master plan with workshops starting in the winter of 2020.

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