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Clarkstown Board Hears Community Proposals From Committee

Community Character & Design Committee presented ideas at town board workshop

 

In 2009 Clarkstown adopted its comprehensive plan and formed seven committees to follow up on the plan’s initiatives. Community Character & Design Chairman Charlie Manieri and Town Planner Joe Simoes shared three recommendations on quality of life issues at the town board workshop on Tuesday. Two of the proposals would be similar to current programs but apply to other types of structures.

Manieri said the committee suggests the town implement the “Residential Pride of Clarkstown” similar to the existing “” program for commercial properties.

Manieri said the idea is to recognize one residential property each month through the course of the year. One residential building whether a private home or apartment building would be selected from each hamlet twice during the course of a year. The focus would be on sites with attractive historical or architectural features including renovations, improvements, landscaping or “green” components and possibly seasonal decorations.

“The chosen property would receive a certificate from the supervisor,” he said.

The program could be operated at a minimal cost because the forms currently used for the Pride of Clarkstown entries could be revised for residential properties. 

Board Member George Hoehmann, who chairs the Pride of Clarkstown Committee, said, “ I think there are some good possibilities here.”

The “Adopt-A-Bus-Shelter” program would piggyback on the program, which are landscaped gateways to the different hamlets maintained by local businesses or civic organizations. The Adopt-A-Spot program is run by Clarkstown Highway Superintendent Wayne Ballard in an ongoing effort by the town to beautify the entrances to downtown hamlet centers. 

Manieri said individuals or businesses would “adopt” a shelter and assume responsibility for keeping it clean by collecting litter, sweeping the inside of the shelter, cleaning the glass and possibly putting in landscaping.  He said the purpose is to make the shelters more attractive and accessible, which in turn would increase community pride.  Supervisor Alex Gromack said the county installed the bus shelters with a grant received from the state.

There are potential savings for the town if Adopt-A-Bus-Shelter is implemented.  Now the town’s highway department is responsible for cleaning the shelters at an estimated cost of $8,000 yearly.  Additionally the cost to power wash each of the  

Approximate 72 shelters twice a year at $64 each is almost $4,600. The town would remain responsible for the repair and maintenance of the shelters.

Congers resident Steve Levine said it appeared the town was trying to shift some of its responsibilities to individuals.

“Now, we want to encourage local businesspeople to take over these duties at their cost,” said Levine.

Simoes said the program would be voluntary and it gives businesses that may a shelter in front of their property to maintain and have a plaque installed with their name.

The third proposal to establish guidelines for commercial design standards would apply to business located outside the hamlet centers and downtown New City. They would apply to new construction and renovations.

Manieri said, “It lists what a design professional would incorporate in a package for the architectural review board.”

He said in addition to dealing with architecture, it includes driveways and parking lots.  The guidelines will be referred to the town’s consultant, Cambridge Systematics, which has studied the state highway corridors through Clarkstown, and the town’s Architecture & Landscape Commission.

 

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