TO: Town of Kingston Planning Board and Town of Kingston Town Board
COPY TO: NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
As people who use and cherish the Catskill Park’s mountains, forests, lakes, streams, and wetlands, we call on the Town of Kingston Planning Board to recognize both the local and regional character and the economic benefits of recreational use of Onteora Lake, Pickerel Pond, and the Bluestone Wild Forest and to conduct a thorough and rigorous environmental review of the proposed steel and concrete fabrication plant at 850 Route 28, specifically by issuing a Positive Declaration of significance and requiring a full Environmental Impact Statement.
In August 2019, residents of the Town of Kingston, grassroots advocates, the Woodstock Land Conservancy, Friends of Bluestone Wild Forest, Save Onteora Lake, and Catskill Mountainkeeper succeeded in convincing the Town of Kingston Planning Board to rescind (revoke) an initial misguided Negative Declaration of environmental impact related to a proposed large and highly intrusive steel and concrete fabrication plant on a parcel adjacent to Onteora Lake, Pickerel Pond, the Bluestone Wild Forest, and additional new open space lands purchased by the Open Space Institute.
A previous online petition asking for a renewed and vigorous environmental review garnered 1,787 signatures, and volunteers also gathered more than 100 signatures from residents of the Town of Kingston through house-to-house canvassing and petitions carried at Onteora Lake. Legal counsel for the nonprofit organizations wrote to the Planning Board, advising that they must conduct a thorough and rigorous environmental review of the proposed plant in order to insure that recreational activities within the Catskill Park can continue unharmed, that economic benefits tourists bring to the Town of Kingston are not sacrificed, and that habitat, water quality and air quality in the Bluestone Wild Forest and at Onteora Lake, Pickerel Pond, and nearby trout-spawning streams remain pristine.
We are now mobilizing public opinion to insist that the next stages of the Planning Board’s review are rigorous and to oppose the Town of Kingston’s attempts to rezone the parcel in question toward industrial uses.
This petition and work is supported and spearheaded by the Woodstock Land Conservancy, Friends of Bluestone Wild Forest, Catskill Mountainkeeper, and Save Onteora Lake. We thank you for lending your voice to this important issue.