OUR LETTER OF SUPPORT FOR THE MORATORIUM
June 29, 2016
To the Editor
Re: Fallsburg Hits the Nail on the Head
The action that the Town of Fallsburg has taken to enact a moratorium on large residential developments while it reviews and updates its Comprehensive Plan is the best legislation anyone in this county has seen in years. Fallsburg is experiencing a growth rate that is far greater than any other town in Sullivan County. Three to four times as many homes are being built in the town annually than any other town. Even though the moratorium places a hold on further development for approximately one year, the terms and conditions of the moratorium still allow for projects that have reached a certain stage to proceed. Those projects alone represent as many as 1200 new homes that can continue through the approval process, with 1800 new homes right behind them, subject to any new regulations established during the Comprehensive Plan review. Clearly, that’s more homes than anywhere else in Sullivan County.
Mostly the town has stated its concern for capacity issues regarding municipal water and sewer systems as the driving issue for the moratorium. It has also acknowledged the usual traffic issues, one that we are all familiar with in the summer months, but which may very well become typical year-round. NYS Route 42, a commercial highway running through the town, has ultimately become obsolete already for two months out of the year during the seasonal occupancy of part-time residents.
When looking at the growth rate and the capacity issues, virtually every planning document authorized by the state recommends exactly the course of action the Fallsburg town board has chosen, and they should be congratulated for it. The process the town has initiated is precisely what good planning foresight calls for at this critical juncture to ensure a practical and rational way forward.
While there has been plenty of opposition to the moratorium from developers and builders, there has also been a great deal of support from local residents and who believe the town board is acting prudently in response to their important and legitimate concerns. Individuals, neighborhood groups and our organization, Fallsburg’s Future, have made an effort to support the town and become more knowledgeable and engaged in our town affairs. We look forward to a rigorous and all-inclusive process in the year ahead as the residents Fallsburg begin the process of recrafting the future of our town.