A proposed local law that is hoping to encourage more businesses to locate along the Route 52 corridor in the Town of Shawangunk didn’t spark much interest at a May 19 public hearing.
Only town resident Adrienne Gelfand-Perine spoke in favor of the local law that would provide additional locations for a variety of retail, service and other small businesses between the hamlets of Walker Valley and Pine Bush. One other resident asked a few questions about the law.
If adopted, permitted businesses will be allowed in existing structures or new structures with no more than a 3,000-square-foot blueprint.
Following scant comment, the board closed the public hearing.
Supervisor John Valk said the board had hoped to vote on the proposed zoning law after the hearing was closed, but the board will wait until it receives comments from the Ulster County Planning Board.
Valk was surprised that there wasn’t more public input on the proposed local law.
“Yes, I did,” Valk responded when asked if he thought there would be more public comment on the law. “I know some of the property owners along there so I thought they’d have more questions.”
More than 25 acceptable businesses are listed in the local law including banks, bakeries and food stores, business and professional offices, family day care centers, farmers’ markets, hardware stores, liquor or wine stores and tattoo parlors.
The proposed local law was written following adoption of the Town of Shawangunk’s Comprehensive Plan Update that was passed by the board on May 20, 2021.
According to the update, one of the goals was to “encourage the creation of attractive gateways for the major hamlets of Wallkill and Walker Valley, and the Route 52 corridor heading to Pine Bush.”
Another section of the Comprehensive Plan Update stated: “promote small-scale commercial development in all hamlets.”
Valk said he still is hoping for new businesses to sprout up along the Route 52 corridor.
“When we did the studies people said they wanted to see more opportunities for business,” Valk said. “Hopefully on the main thoroughfare people will come along and think about putting a business there. Maybe not big businesses like a supermarket, but little shops like fixing lawn mowers or something.”
Gelfand-Perine supported the local law because she said it could bring much-needed economic development to the town.
“I’m very much in favor of it,” she said. “That is perfect access for people crossing the mountain. It is the gateway into our town.”
Gelfand-Perine thought construction of an Urgent Care facility along the Route 52 corridor would greatly benefit local residents.
“It is vitally needed on that side (of town),” she said. “Especially for the seniors in that area that don’t have any transportation that would be perfect. It benefits the community and the property owner. And maybe it invites more business to set up.”
In other news, the board voted 4-0 to approve Phase II for highway improvements under Section 284 of the State Highway Law.
The cost for Phase II is $183,104 for improvements to the Town Hall parking lot and Viola, Lavoletta, First, Second and Third streets. Also work will be done on Hardenburgh Road, Usterville Road, Johns Estate Road and Doviak Road.
Phase I for improvements was previously adopted for a total of $327,911. The total for 2022 improvements would be $511,015.
The board also approved the hiring of four counselors for its upcoming Kids Summer Camp. They are: Kaydence Vermilling, Hayley Dickson, Abreeanna Thomas and Gabrielle Crusco.
The summer camp will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 5 through Aug. 12 at Verkeerderkill Park. Cost is $575 for the first child of a family for town residents and $650 for the first child for non-residents. There will be a $25 discount for additional children.
Information is available on the town website or a packet can be picked up at the Town Hall, 14 Central Ave., Wallkill. For details, call Gillian Batchasingh 917-848-8633.
The board also voted 4-0 to approve a conservation easement for Mako Homes.
Mark Watkins of Pine Bush and Richard Barnhart of Wallkill were reappointed to the Ulster County Planning Board through Dec. 31, 2025, according to Resolution 135 of the Ulster County Legislature.