Keep Woodstock Small and Beautiful (08/06/09)

I want to keep Woodstock small and beautiful; I don’t want it to die. Industry is leaving Woodstock. Many large buildings along the corridor between the hamlets of Woodstock and Bearsville sit empty; more will certainly follow, resulting in more lost jobs and a further reduction in our tax base. I believe we must ‘down-zone’ the Light Industrial District by extending the Bearsville Neighborhood Commercial District to these properties. We must extend sewer service to the district, either through extension of our present system or through a stand-alone facility. This will protect our precious aquifer--in particular, our Town wells near Rick Voltz Field--and provide an incentive for new commercial and residential opportunities.

To keep Woodstock small and beautiful while fostering new employment opportunities and attracting new business, we must maintain or increase existing setback regulations along the Route 212 corridor, strongly encourage the retention of open space, and prohibit uses inappropriate to our unique cultural landscape. Woodstockers have fought long and hard to preserve our rural character, block strip malls and most franchises, and protect our Town from both sprawl and intensive developments. This is a necessary and difficult balance to strike, and one that we must work in concert to achieve.

I will continue to lead the town in providing expanded recreational activities for all Woodstockers. The Andy Lee Recreation Field remains in need of an effective and comprehensive solution for all its stakeholders, including its neighbors. There is a plan for recreation at Andy Lee Field (RALF) that, like many reports and plans commissioned by previous Town Boards, has languished for years. It is time to implement it, at least in part, to provide expanded recreational opportunities for Woodstockers of all ages.

Pedestrian access is also an area of concern. There is much more to be done for pedestrian needs and I hope to continue to encourage this progress on various fronts, with particular regard to walkability, safety, and access for those with disabilities. One giant step is the current volunteer initiative to undertake the extensive and much-needed repairs to the bluestone sidewalk along the cemetery on Rock City Road, a sidewalk with no owner and thus no maintenance since its installation more than 70 years ago. See it for yourself; the work is nearly complete!

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