Lots of people with lots to say
CAMPBELL HALL – Residents of the Town of Hamptonburgh and the greater Goshen area voiced their concerns regarding the potential rezoning of a 360 acre agricultural area near the Thomas Bull Memorial Park to a light industrial area for the potential development of a giant warehouse operation by Medline.
Public comments were heard by the Hamptonburgh Town Board, prior to their regularly scheduled meeting Monday evening.
A packed room was filled mostly with opponents to the zoning change.
Jessica Gocke of Goshen, a member of Concerned Citizens for the Hudson Valley and licensed real estate broker, said among other things, she is concerned with what she said would be the measurable drop in home equity residents could experience having this parcel change from residential to light industrial.
“I’m concerned about, first of all, the lack of farmland on a county-wide level and on the Town of Hamptonburgh,” said Gocke. “I’m concerned about the increase in traffic. I’m concerned about the increase in air pollution, the decrease in home values – the very real, tangible, lowered home value decrease, which happens when industrial rezoning happens in residential areas and I’m extremely concerned about storm water runoff.”
Campbell Hall resident Kaika Clubwala questioned why the proposal is being entertained.
“If our property values are going to go down and we’re not going get any significant tax break that is going to benefit us financially, why are we giving up the main reason we came to this place in the first place”? Clubwala asked. “We came because it was a beautiful, scenic, rural, residential area.”
Residents opposed to the proposal maintain they have already seen the negative impacts that industrial rezoning has had on the area.
The counter-argument is to leave the zoning as it is, R4A, in which the parcel could accommodate approximately 90 homes, or approximately 290 active-adult living units for which it was previously approved.
Ironically, the two individuals who spoke in favor of the rezoning were both farmers themselves, operating upon agriculturally zoned property. They had said during open comment period that an influx of so many new residents would cause many more problems than small scale industrial operations.
Campbell Hall resident Gabe DeSilva begged to differ and said it is just a matter of taking a look at what impact areas that had formally been rezoned to light industrial status had done.
“What you have there now is significant light emittance from the cannabis plant. They run greenhouses all night long and the sky is lit up bright green, so you’ve got some light pollution there,” DeSilva said. “You’ve got an adjacent light-manufacturing facility, which has been a known noise maker in the area. There are folks that simply can’t sleep in their own homes anymore that have experienced the noise pollution from there.”
The town board said no decisions have been made on the rezoning. If rezoning is to occur it will have to be brought before the board for a vote following a public hearing on the matter.