Town Of Blooming Grove Eager to Fill Orange Development Area
NNI Light Industry Code Is Done, Let’s Move Forward!
By Edie Johnson
Talk that the Blooming Grove business code for Central Orange Development Area (the former Camp LaGuardia site) is not ready for customers is simply not true, say officials. The code is a little different than the IP Code written for the Chester portion of the site, but only as to incidentals (such as building height, types of business preferred, and some strict conditions that protect against negative environmental impact.) The code was finished some 5 or 6 months ago, and took extra time to prepare because it includes conditions for any such use in the town, but has long been finished and filed with the county and the state.
The property is owned by Orange County, but meetings have already been held between Supervisor Rob Jeroloman and County Executive Steve Neuhaus, including discussion of preferences for the type of businesses to be encouraged.
Several Blooming Grove officials have said that the attractive, low-impact Medline office and truck docking facility currently in Waywayanda and looking for a place to expand, or a Convention Center site being sought in our area, are just the kinds of businesses that would likely be great fits for the 258-acre former LaGuardia site that sits within minutes of major transportation routes and a mere 20 minutes from Stewart International Airport. Medline had applied for a site in nearby Hamptonburgh but has run into opposition from the farm-friendly community that surrounds that location. Medline is a large and respected company that has its home office in Illinois, but does trucking of their instruments and diagnostics to medical facilities across the country . Their nicely landscaped site in Waywayanda has an office and a long line of truck docking bays, their only downside being some well regulated truck traffic. The site was quiet last weekend with only a few trucks located in the bays near the office. With an emphasis on low environmental impact, but with a nice addition to the tax base, Blooming Grove has been looking for site-seekers like this for years.
Meanwhile, some other new businesses in town are thriving. The Sleep Inn in the Village of South Blooming Grove has had a quickly growing customer base. Clark’s Cafe and Ice Cream Parlor on Route 94 has become “The” place to visit with friends, and its customers rave about their growing menu, the new outdoor cafe and ice cream stand which offers one of the best views of the Schunemunk Ridge in the area. The renovated historic Sears-Howell Barn is nearly half full, with a Body Yoga Studio as well as a Martial Arts Studio, and its future may hold an Art Gallery and Tourism Center.
Blooming Hill Farm already offers a wide variety of home-grown organics and holds extremely popular seasonal art fairs. The town’s beautiful and expansive Korean Buddhist site with its Temple/Wonkaksa is tackling a new building project. Two large Asian organic meat and vegetable farms have recently begun large farming enterprises on hundreds of acres in the town, and will soon have healthy natural vegetables, lamb and other food products to offer.
And that doesn’t even touch all of the thriving business resulting from the Village of Washingtonville’s Placemaking efforts.
The emphasis now, however, is to get the Central Orange Development Area back on the tax rolls. Anyone wanting more information about the code can contact the Blooming Grove Town Hall at 845-496-5223.
The intent of the NNI District is to allow areas of well-buffered light industry, service commercial, office and research facilities with minimal impacts to adjoining residential neighborhoods.
Some of the categories in the new NNI Zoning Code include: Health Care Facilities, Craft Industry, Self-Storage, Media Studio, Microbrewery, Conference Center, Health & Fitness Center.