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Greene County passes resolution on development

Feb 10, 2022 1:45 pm

William J. Kemble reports in the Daily Freeman that Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden is on the warpath against New York City buying property in the Catskills to protect the quality of its drinking water. New York City gets its drinking water from 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes spread across a nearly 2,000-square-mile watershed in the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains. New York City's Department of Environmental Protection buys property to limit reservoir contamination from stormwater runoff. “The DEP practice of just blindly acquiring property … stops development in the mountaintop towns and then it drives up the prices of any property that is left,” Groden said. So the Greene County Legislature unanimously adopted a resolution designed to limit the ability of the DEP to purchase more land in Greene County. But Greene County legislators didn't get this idea themselves. The resolution they passed is identical to one supported in December by the Olive Town Board in Ulster County. The resolutions both ask the state to allow lease agreements, which allow development on properties while also meeting standards to protect the reservoir system. Kemble does not quote anyone besides Groden, nor anyone in favor of protecting the quality of New York City drinking water. William J. Kemble reports in the Daily Freeman asking the state to adopt rules that would keep New York City Department of Environmental Protection from taking properties out of circulation in perpetuity in an effort to meet watershed rules intended to limit reservoir contamination from stormwater runoff.