unfortunate - was a well thought out project. new paltz residents were foolish to let it pass.
Au contraire, anonymous, it was a rotten dog of a project, an attempt to create an artificial sub-community in a bad way in a bad place, treating New Paltz like anybody's whore. Certain local large-mouth political bosses were down for it, probably counting chickens that never quite hatched for them, but nobody else wanted it.
A well thought-out mixed-use project will create jobs and housing in balance, which this did not. No one who worked there could have afforded to live there. This town doesn't need more glittery retail - we've got overpriced cat collars and lawn ornaments a-plenty at Water Street Market, and the tourists adore them. The Plesser property needs a development that will benefit the folks who actually live here, not just create a larger commuter population to serve a great tourist community.Poorly thought out, poorly implemented, and almost certainly would have been approved. Thank the economy for saving New Paltz.
"No one who worked there could have afforded to live there"That's not an issue for me. What struck me about this project was that sitting there on the Thruway the condo units were targeted at the metro-NYC market. It would hit a modest exurban price point for those buyers, before the housing crash. Had it been built there's no telling what it would have turned into. It had no organic connection to the community at all.About the "workers can afford" premise, suppose it had been a luxury condo development? Would that mean that the surrounding businesses would need to be white shoe law firms and brokerage houses? Of course not. Matching job locations and housing is something done in coal mining and company towns and probably in the former Yugoslavia. There's no need for that sort of social engineering and, indeed, the whole notion of government-mandated "affordable housing" is a creepy idea.That location is zoned as light industrial/commercial and that's what it is suited for. The political bosses wanted spot zoning disguised as "planned unit development," a term of bureaucratic bloviation used to hoodwink locals into thinking it was some sort of planning sophistication. (Beware the Newspeak of craven political animals and their consultants.)Something related to transportation would work at that site, allowing direct access from the Thruway. Any sort of manufacturing facility, if any manufacturer still exists who would set up shop in New York State, would be good.But that whole "Gosh, you can live and shop and dine out and go to the movies, and you'll be right next to the Thruway!", that had a real ring to it, didn't it?
I think "affordable housing" isn't something that can be regulated by local bureaucrats, any more than flooding can be. However, the advantages of mixed use is that it can provide a variety of services, and if those services are attractive to the residents it can be done in a way that does not increase traffic problems, on the Thruway or off.Building to anticipate retail is a bad idea in that case - instead, focus on the light-industrial zoning of the property and try to attract higher-end jobs. Such a development wouldn't create the "second New Paltz" which was a huge concern to many people as well.
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