Town of Wawarsing passes fracking ban!
On December 20, 2012, the Town of Wawarsing passed a fracking ban in a bipartisan effort led by Town Supervisor Scott Carlsen and supported by Councilpersons Steve Bradley, Dan Johnson, John Gavaris and Terry Houck, with legal support from Planning Board Attorney Mary Lou Cristiana.
A huge thanks to Wawarsing's own Environmental Conservation Commission, which referred an excellent letter of support for the action to the Town Board in early 2012.
Struggle continues with Dharamakaya development
In June 2007, the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Mahamudra Buddhist Hermitage development in Cragsmoor was filed. In June 2008, after significant debate with community members, the Town of Wawarsing Planning Board accepted the FEIS. In August 2012, the developer filed for site plan approval for Phase I of its development and a special use permit for all phases.
Cragsmoor Association has reviewed the documents and attended public hearings, expressing concern about the Town's ability to monitor and control impact to water supplies and traffic that will result from the project they have approved.
We remain concerned about the impact of the project on 1) the water security of Cragsmoor residents, ALL of whom rely on well water, 2) traffic impacts that will result from significantly increased volume of weekend visitors to Cragsmoor due to this development and 3) placement of religious statuary in the development's perimeter where it will be visible to all residents and visitors to Cragsmoor.
Cragsmoor Association has respectfully requested that the applicant be asked to demonstrate how it will comply with the conditions pf the Town Planning Board's approval SEQRA approvals, which limit of the total occupancy at full build-out of the Hermitage (on a day-to-day basis) to a maximum of 85 people, and a maximum number of day visitors on the special event days (limited to six to eight times a year) to 143 people. This is a large number of folks for Cragsmoor, and a non-trivial itinerant population - 60% of the Dharmakaya's visitors will be coming and going from the site on days when traffic is busiest in our community: weekends.
Cragsmoor Association has also asked that the Planning Board ask the applicant to keep its word. In the FEIS, they offered a conservation easement to govern the buffer around their property, which the Town could accept as a means to manage impacts to our neighborhood.
At the January 2013 Planning Board meeting, the applicant's attorney was already presenting a case to offer NOT the conservation easement, but less enforceable alternatives.
According to the Land Trust Alliance, a not-for-profit organization that promotes voluntary private land conservation to benefit communities and natural systems, a “conservation easement, if written properly and granted to an eligible grantee, is entitled to many more protections of the law under most state statutes” than a simple deed restriction. We have urged that the Town draw on the expertise of its own Environmental Conservation Commission, which we feel could do an excellent job managing the conservation easement.
The Planning Board's Attorney has already agreed to entertain alternatives to the conservation easement - which was the only mitigation offered by the business-savvy applicant to address the impact of their world headquarters on on Cragsmoor's historic and natural setting.
More soon on these troubling developments.
TINY HOUSE CONTEST IS UNDERWAY!
Link to the Tiny House Contest rules here: CA Tiny House Contest Rules and Guidelines with additional requirements for Professional entrants here: Additional Requirements for Professional Submissions
Living small is not a new concept - from Aboriginal teepees, to Cragsmoor berrypicker shacks, to Airstream RVs, living small has spanned the centuries. Although Americans live in ever larger houses, never before have small, energy efficient houses been so essential for today and tomorrow’s needs.
Today’s green technologies and new and existing building materials offer amazing opportunities for innovative energy and space usage.
Propose a one of a kind, ultra-high energy efficient living solution for a family of two that is easy to live in, provides energy for cooking, cleaning, adequate hot water and entertainment and produces as much or more energy than it consumes - and win the glory that comes with being a Cragsmoor Association (CA) TINY HOUSE CONTEST winner! Cragsmoor Association is working to make the construction of the winning submission a reality.
We have chosen a “base site” in Cragsmoor and six additional building sites in the Town of Wawarsing and Village of Ellenville. The winning design may be initially constructed on the base site and subsequently moved one time to one of the alternate six sites.
Design a movable ultra-efficient and low cost tiny house that can be erected on the base site and then moved to the site of your choice. Submissions are due on May 12, 2013.
The CA TINY HOUSE CONTEST is open to everyone – individuals and teams, students, families, builders, designers, etc.
Review these guidelines and submission requirements, and contact Lonnie Coplen at Cragsmoor Association at Cragsmoor.Association@gmail.com with any questions or to request a copy of this document in MSWord format. Use “Tiny House” in the subject field.
Check out CA’s facebook page!
Check out the Cragsmoor Association site on facebook for status and action items.
7 PM on 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month at Town Hall Court Room
Planning Board Meetings
7 PM on 3rd Tuesday of every month in the Town Hall Court Room
Environmental Conservation Commission meetings
5:15 PM on the 4th Thursday of every month in the Town Hall building
Zoning Board Meeting
7 PM on the 2nd Tuesday of every month in the Town Hall Court Room