Our town does not need a development like 111 South Liberty Drive. The Rockland County Department of Planning called it "massive" and recommended the project be disapproved.
Hundreds of Stony Pointers, myself included, have come out to speak out against it. Our own NYS Assemblyman Chris Eachus called it"the definition of an abomination".
In good news, on October 26th the Stony Point Planning Board voted to accept the recommendation of the Rockland County Department of Planning to disapprove the project. This is an important, and meaningful first step towards stopping the development.
Unfortunately, this is far from the last time we will hear about it. This is not the final decision. There may be revised drawings submitted. There may be lawsuits. Only time will tell. If elected, as the redesigns come forward, I'll keep an open mind, and evaluate each proposal fairly.
There are still a lot of factors at play :
The current Town Board supports this project. Otherwise, it would not have made it this far. The way to change this, is to vote in new Town Board members.
These projects, driven by developers, keep coming forward because our Comprehensive Master Plan, in the words of the Planning Board themselves, is outdated. It is 28 years old, with a few amendments from 2013. In 2013, the group that worked on the plan explained that it needed to be redone within nominally a 3 year period. It is 10 years later, now. A Comprehensive Master Plan collates perspectives of residents and tax payers, to act as a 5 or 10 year plan moving forward.
Every time we have a project that needs to be fought against, we lose out on that time. We keep having to fight : BaMar, Eagle Bay, 2 Letchworth Proposals, now 111 South Liberty Drive. This is a pattern in our town. We need to break the cycle and start pursuing projects we actually want in town.
Let me be clear - I am not against development. I am for the type of development that preserves the character of our town, and looks to the future,
The Town Council has been asked abut their plans to update our Comprehensive Master Plan, an essential governing document, multiple times by many different voices. They've responded repeatedly saying that it is easier for them to make decisions on their own, without the document. While that might be easier, it is not right ; while that might be easier, it does not weigh in the voices of citizens ; while that might be easier, it is an inappropriate consolidation of power.