Comprehensive Plan for the
Town of Shandaken
Despite its abundance of natural resources and amenities, the Town of Shandaken has faced a continuing struggle to provide a stable economy for its residents.
- The Town had fewer residents in 1990 than it did in 1900. Population declined from 3,053 in 1900 to 1,875 in 1940; it gradually rose to 3,013 in 1990 although a far greater proportion are retired or underemployed than was the case at the turn of the last century.
- The Town's 1990 median income of $22,154 was the lowest in Ulster County and was 35% below the County median of $34,033 and more than 25% below the national median. The 1990 unemployment rate of 14.76% was the highest in the County, almost three times the County median.
- Opportunities for economic development are extremely limited due to physical constraints and ownership of 70% of the Town's land area by New York State.
In the past five years, the Town has fostered preparation of two planning studies focused on the Route 28 Corridor which extends some 17 miles through the Town and gives access to virtually all the privately held lands. These reports proposed strategies for economic development and resource protection in the Corridor, evaluated potential tourism markets, set forth planning policies and guidelines and recommended specific development regulations to implement the plan.
1. PROJECT DESCRIPTION
The project will consist of preparation of a Comprehensive Plan for the Town of Shandaken. The Plan will consist of the following tasks:
Task 1 - 2 months
Compilation and analysis of existing data base mapping (natural resources, development limitations, existing land use, etc) prepared for the Route 28 Corridor plans and also available from the Ulster County Environmental Management Council.
Task 2 - 4 months
A Comprehensive Plan comprised of development policies and detailed objectives will be prepared based on existing data and the previous planning studies. The plan will establish guidelines for future land use and resource protection decisions but will not include site specific plans in order to allow flexibility to consider economic development proposals when submitted.
Task 3 - 3 months
Since Belleayre Ski Center is recognized as the major focus for economic development in the region and specific improvement plans are already underway, the plan will include a more detailed element regarding the gateway to Belleayre. A planning concept will be prepared for the area from Route 28 to the entrance to Belleayre in terms of appropriate land uses, density, special design considerations, and infrastructure needs. The role of the proposed Watershed Museum in the plan will be evaluated and specific issues regarding development identified. Planning activities will be coordinated with the neighboring Town of Middletown.
Objectives of the Comprehensive Plan
Public Value: The Comprehensive Plan will simultaneously address concerns for economic development and environmental protection in the Town. Residents see in its outcome their best hope for improving the local economy while also preserving the rural character and quality of life that they value in their community. These dual priorities are very much consistent with the Department of State's recognition in Eligible Activity #2 "that the goals of drinking water protection and economic vitality within watershed communities are not inconsistent... " To accomplish these conjoined ends, residents and officials have established a history of voluntary, inter-municipal planning collaboration between the adjoining Towns of Shandaken and Middletown.
Economic Value: A 1994 planning report identified Belleayre Ski Center as the "major tourism asset of the Central Catskills", and recommended that it be supported by other tourist facilities. ("Resource Protection and Economic Development Strategy for the Route 28 Corridor", prepared by the Route 28 Corridor Committee). A more recent, follow-up study includes a market analysis which confirms the importance of Belleayre and recommends expansion of support facilities, including a watershed museum, to increase the critical mass of Belleayre as a tourist destination at all times of the year. ("Tourism Development Plan for the Central Catskills", prepared by the Central Catskills Planning Alliance).
Both these citizens' committee reports point to planned, appropriate development of the Belleayre Gateway Area as economically effective, as well as environmentally sound and protective of the watershed as required by the MOA. Focusing development in this area will not only provide the critical mass necessary to attract tourism, but will allow for the efficient and cost effective concentration of any necessary supporting municipal infrastructure requirements. Thus, once realized, the Plan will facilitate the addition of appropriate, tax rateable development within the Town of Shandaken, while minimizing the costs incurred by Town taxpayers.
Local Commitment: The proposed comprehensive planning project is designed to build upon previous plans. Planning for the Route 28 Corridor and the Belleayre Gateway Area has been ongoing for a number of years, involving local business interests as well as the larger communities. The Route 28 Corridor Committee Report of 1994 was produced by a collaborative group of volunteers from both Shandaken and Middletown. The recent Central Catskills Planning Alliance report is also the product of a planning committee of citizen volunteers from both Towns. This spirit of citizen involvement will be continued by the consultants through the project's schedule of public meetings.
Water Quality Protection: The adoption of an environmentally sound Comprehensive Plan will encourage economic development appropriate to the watershed while limiting unregulated community growth. This will be a direct benefit to both the water quality and other significant natural resources of the watershed. The planning process, itself, will contribute secondarily, but significantly, to the protection of the watershed. The involvement of local citizens will advance their knowledge and appreciation of the benefits of uncontaminated surface waters as well as the significant natural resources which abound within their Town.
2. PLAN IMPLEMENTATION
The entire project should be completed within a year. The consultant's work should take nine months to accomplish. At the outset, the consultants will facilitate a public meeting in order to outline for the public the tasks to be accomplished and to incorporate public input and suggestions. Upon completion of the preliminary findings, an additional meeting with the public will take place. Finally, at the project's finish, the consultants will submit a report to the Town at a public meeting in which they will share their conclusions and recommendations. The subsequent time required for public discussion leading to eventual approval, adoption, and enactment by the Town of Shandaken is necessarily less precise, but is likely to be another three months.
3. PROJECT PERSONNEL
The Town of Shandaken will contract with the planning firm, Shuster Associates of Stone Ridge, New York, to develop the project plan. Daniel Shuster, principal in the firm, is a full member of the American Institute of Certified Planners with over thirty years of experience. (See Attachment) The firm is local and well known for their extensive work within the Catskill Watershed and in the Town of Shandaken.
The Town of Shandaken will contract with the consultant to accomplish the scope of work described above. The total cost shall be $12,800 comprised of the following:
Task One: Mapping and Analysis $2,500
Task Two: Planning Policies $7,500
Task Three: Belleayre Gateway Plan $2,800
NEW YORK STATE
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
WEST-OF-HUDSON WATERSHED MASTER PLANNING
AND ZONING INCENTIVE AWARD PROGRAM
The Town of Shandaken (hereinafter referred to as Municipality), whose official mailing address is Town Hall, P.O. Box 134,Shandaken, New York 12480, an eligible West-of-Hudson municipality in accordance with the New York City Watershed Memorandum of Agreement hereby applies to the Department of State (Department) for an Incentive Award for the Eligible Activities set forth in the Program Application appended hereto (the Project). The Municipality hereby certifies that if this is a joint application on behalf of one or more other eligible municipalities, Intermunicipal Agreements have been executed authorizing the Municipality to act and receive funds on behalf of all parties to the application.
The Department reserves the right to negotiate specific activity or cost components of the Application as a condition for acceptance and to require the Municipality to submit a revised application as a result of such negotiation.
Upon acceptance of this Application for funding by the Department, so signified by receipt of a copy of this Application signed by the Secretary of State or his authorized representative and a payment claim package, the Municipality agrees to conduct the Project in accordance with the accepted Program Application and the terms and conditions set forth below.
Subject to the availability of funds in the State Budget, funding under this award shall be available to reimburse the Municipality for allowable costs incurred and Eligible Activities conducted during the period April 1, 1999, through September 30, 2000.
Upon receipt and approval by the Department of a final project activity report as prescribed in the Program Application and a Project Expenditure Report as prescribed in the Payment Claim Package to be submitted not later than November 1, 2000, a reimbursement payment will be made in an amount not to exceed seventy-five percent (75%) of the eligible project costs or the maximum amount specified in the Application for the particular Eligible Activities, whichever is less.
All funds received and expended under this Project shall be recorded and accounted for in the same manner as all other funds of the Municipality and may, at the discretion of the State of New York, be subject to audit.
For the Municipality For the Department of State
(Neil Grant)________7-29-99 ____________________________
Signature Date Signature Date
Typed Name Neil Grant Title ________________________
State of New York)
County of Ulster) ss:
On this 29th day of July, 1999, before me personally came
Neil Grant, to me known, who, being by me duly sworn, did depose and
say that _he is the Supervisor of The Town of Shandaken the
municipality described in and which executed the above instrument; and that _he signed his/her name thereto by order of the local legislative body of the above-mentioned municipality.
New York Department of State
Master Planning and Zoning Incentive Awards
Name of Municipality(s): Town of Shandaken
Project Title: COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
Eligible Activity: 1. Preparation or updating, of a Comprehensive Plan _X_
2. Strategic Capital Investment Plan ___
3. Development of Community Development Tools & Laws ___
Municipality Address: Town Hall, P.O. Box 134
Shandaken, New York 12480
Contact Person: Neil Grant Title: Supervisor
Phone: (914) 688-7165 Fax: (914) 688-7041
Federal Tax Identification Number: 14-6002443
TOTAL PROJECT COST
(As listed in Attachment A) $12,800
Total State Funds $ 9,600
(Neil Grant) 7-29-99
Neil Grant Supervisor
Typed Name Title
New York City Watershed
Master Planning and Zoning Incentive Award Program
Project Title: Comprehensive Plan
Municipality(s): Town of Shandaken
A. Local Cash
B. Local In-Kind
C. Other Sources of Assistance
E. State Assistance Requested
1. Personnel (including fringe)
* $ 9,600
* Not to exceed 75% of total in 6(d) or the maximum reimbursement listed for the project, whichever is less