100 Ideas for New Paltz

4. expand municipal compost

Posted in agriculture, environment, public health by Jason West on June 12, 2009

Add curbside compost collection to the leaf litter bags at the community gardens.

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5. expand the reed beds

Posted in environment, public health, sewer by Jason West on June 12, 2009

Expand the reed beds at the sewer plant to the other two drying beds, while plugging the drain that leads water out of those greehouses, saving $20,000 a year after capital costs are recouped.

phragmites reeds

7. limit the properties affected by a wetlands law

Posted in environment, public health, stormwater, wallkill river by Jason West on June 12, 2009

Reduce the number of properties affected by a Wetlands Law by passing a Wetlands Protection Overlay Zone made up of only those properties which have potential wetlands, watercourses or buffers on them:

A LOCAL LAW AMENDING CHAPTER 210 OF THE CODE OF

THE VILLAGE OF NEW PALTZ, COUNTY OF ULSTER IMPLEMENTING A WETLANDS PRESERVATION OVERLAY DISTRICT

BE IT ENACTED BY THE VILLAGE BOARD OF THE VILLAGE OF NEW PALTZ AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1.    The Village of New Paltz Code, Chapter 210 shall be amended to add the following:

ARTICLE XIX

Wetlands Preservation Overlay District
§     Title.

This District shall be known as the New Paltz “Wetlands Preservation Overlay District” and can be generally referred to as the “Wetlands Preservation Overlay District.  (WPOD).”
§     Intent and Purpose.

The WPOD is intended to implement the policies in the New Paltz Comprehensive Plan in conjunction with the recently completed studies of Hudsonia, Inc., and to promote, preserve, and enhance important aesthetic, biological, ecological, hydrologic, and recreational functions provided by the Village’s streams and rivers, as well as to protect life and prevent property damage from flooding.  It is therefore the purpose of these provisions to establish a Wetlands Preservation Overlay District that encourages planning and development of land that will protect and preserve designated areas.  The WPOD is specifically intended to:

1. Regulate and provide reasonable controls over the land use, siting, and engineering of all development to be consistent with the intent and objectives of this section.

2. Recognize that the protected natural features contribute to the welfare and quality of life of the Village of New Paltz residents.

3. Improve and maintain the water quality and minimize the addition of pollutants deposited in protected watercourses through the natural capacity of the riparian areas to filter stormwater runoff.

4. Comply with federal and state water quality and wetlands regulations.

5. Preserve and protect the natural state and scenic values of the protected watercourse areas and the Village of New Paltz.
§     Application.

The Wetlands Protection Overlay District encompasses all parcels within the Village of New Paltz which     contain all or part of a wetlands, wetland buffer, watercourse or watercourse buffer as designated on the     official Wetlands Protection Overlay District Map
§     Official Maps.

The boundaries of the WPOD shall be delineated on the official Village of New Paltz maps.
§      Permitted Uses.

1. The uses and restrictions in the WPOD are supplementary to, and do not replace, underlying established district use and bulk regulations.

2. In the event that this provision conflicts with any requirement or provision in the underlying district, the more restrictive requirement or provision shall apply.

3. Those uses outlined in §210-8, §210-9 and §210-10 of the Village of New Paltz Wetlands and Watercourse Protection Law shall be allowed in accordance with the procedures set forward in the Village of New Paltz Wetlands and Watercourse Protection Law
§     Prohibited Uses.

Those uses outlined in §210-6 and §210-7 of the Village of New Paltz Wetlands and Watercourse     Protection     Law shall be prohibited and/or regulated  in accordance with the procedures set forward in the Village of New     Paltz Wetlands and Watercourse Protection Law
§    Special Permit Uses.

1. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall seek the advice of the Wetlands Inspector when making its determination as to whether to grant a request for a special permit.

2. The Zoning Board of Appeals must condition any such special permit granted to insure that such use shall not conflict with the Village of New Paltz Wetlands and Watercourse Protection Law.

3. The following uses may be permitted in the WPOD by special permit:

1.    Marinas for non-powered boats, public and private boat entry points.

2.    Structures or uses required for the operation of a public utility, such as utility rights-of-way and crossings.
§    Inspection, Enforcement, and Penalties.

1.    Inspection.  Lands within or adjacent to a designated WPOD will be inspected by the Wetlands Inspector when:

i.    A subdivision or site plan is submitted.

ii.     A building permit is requested.

iii.    A change or resumption of a nonconforming use is proposed.

iv.    A written complaint alleging a violation is submitted to the Wetlands Inspector.

2.    Enforcement.

i.    Any person may submit a written complaint to the Wetlands Inspector alleging a violation of the WPOD.

ii.    Upon receipt of the complaint, the Wetlands Inspector shall conduct an investigation of the complaint including, but not limited to, a site inspection and meeting with the property owner.

3.    Penalties.

Any violation of the WPOD must cease upon a determination that a violation has occurred.  If upon written notification to the violating party, that party does not cause the violation to be discontinued, the fines shown in subsections (i)-(iii) below will be additionally assessed for each day thereafter until the violation  ceases.

Monetary fines shall be assessed for violations as follows:

i.    Level One.  ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($1,000) for violations that are easily correctable and have not resulted in any adverse affect on the water quality of the designated wetland area.

ii.    Level Two.  TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS ($2,000) for violations that have resulted in an adverse effect on the water quality of the designated wetland area.

iii.    Level Three.  FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS ($4,000) for violations that are deemed a flagrant abuse of the WPOD and have a serious affect on the quality of life and environment of the WPOD and surrounding area.

8. get rid of poison ivy in parks

Posted in agriculture, environment, parks, public health by Jason West on June 12, 2009

Borrow some goats from a local farm to graze at Sojourner Truth Park – goats eat poison ivy before grass, and they can eliminate poison ivy without use of toxic chemicals.

Thanks to Terence Ward for pointing out that only certain breeds of goats like poison ivy — Spanish and Angorra goats to be precise.

a spanish goat

a spanish goat

9. ban pesticides

Posted in environment, public health by Jason West on June 12, 2009

10. municipal garbage collection

Posted in garbage, infrastructure, lowering the cost of living, public health by Jason West on June 12, 2009

Create a Garbage District, buy some garbage trucks and have the DPW pick up trash on all Village streets, reducing residents’ garbage bills by up to a third.

11. make all new buildings green buildings

Create requirements in the housing codes of the Town and Village requiring all new construction to meet minimum LEED standards, with incentives of expedited review or density bonuses to those who exceed the minimum standards.

18. clean up medians and other often overlooked public spaces

Posted in art, infrastructure, parks, public health, sidewalks by Jason West on June 12, 2009

Work with the Town Court to coordinate more community-service projects to be supervised by the DPW and Town Buildings and Grounds Department in order to clean, repair and re-plant sidewalk landscaping and small medians around the Village and Town, possibly with a view towards using appropriate spaces for public art.

36. require mandatory paid sick time for those who work in new paltz

Posted in local economy, public health by Jason West on June 12, 2009

Pass a Mandatory Sick Time Law requiring New Paltz business owners to pay sick time to all employees. Employees would earn one hour of sick time for every twenty hours worked, to be used at their discretion. People going to work sick (especially in a restaurant-heavy community) because they can’t afford to miss work is a public health issue.

37. needle exchange

Posted in public health by Jason West on June 12, 2009

Create a safe-haven needle-exchange program, partnering with a local social service nonprofit. The village DPW has repeatedly reported needles when picking up trash, and needles have been found on the Rail Trail. They are ob-viously a health hazard and can be dealt with as an issue separate from addiction.