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Editorial – The Right Time For New Windsor’s Moratorium

The Right Time For New Windsor’s Moratorium

We applaud New Windsor’s decision to set a new building moratorium that will begin in February.  If we don’t begin to listen to the signs the environment gives us that  it is hurting and being overused , we will pay the price in health, and happiness.  Our waters are increasingly polluted, our air is increasingly polluted, and our sewer systems are full to overflowing.  The reasons that most people  love this area and have moved here is for the views and the health advantages.  If the mountain views and recreational lakes are polluted and gone, those living a healthy lifestyle, or wanting to, will not want to come here. And those who live here now will want to leave.

On a daily basis we may not notice some of the health costs of these abuses, but it is a certainty that they will affect each and every one of our health, and in the not too distant future. Overbuilding , once thought to lessen taxes, has been shown to only increase them.  Large companies find their way out of paying in PILOT agreements, and high density housing only results in increased costs for schools, fire, police and other services.

The towns of Chester, Blooming Grove, and other nearby municipalities have had moratoriums in recent years.  It gives town officials and planners time to reevaluate how land use is doing, and to adjust their Comprehensive Plans and Zoning regulations in ways that will keep the environmental damages from spiraling and causing yet more damage.  Hydrogeologists tell us that there is a point at which the groundwater and aquifers become so damaged that they lose their ability to recharge.

We also applaud Cornwall and Blooming Grove for their Community Preservation Plan completion. Soon they will become official documents that will protect our views, our watersheds, our streams and our air, so that this area which has been a cherished  region since our country began, and which is now touted as a favorite tourism region, will remain so.

It’s time to consider what Planning experts a decade ago meant by “Buildout” (the time when growth has reached the maximum it can without causing significant damage.) There is still space for some “Smart Growth”, but it has to be REALLY smart!

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