December 5, 2011


The Town Board met this date as per notice in the official Town Newspaper with the following members present:  Supervisor Stanley, Councilmen Bartlett, Bernstein, Jordan and Malloy.


Pledge of Allegiance to our Flag


Roll Call



PLEASE TAKE NOTICE  that the Shandaken Town Board will hold a Public hearing

on December 5, 2011, 6:30 pm at Shandaken Town Hall located at 7209 Route 28, Shandaken, New York.  The purpose of this hearing is to hear all those present in favor or against The Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway Nomination and Corridor Management Plan.


TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that the Shandaken Town hall is assessable to the physically impaired.


Dated: November 23, 2011                           BY ORDER OF THE TOWN BOARD

                                                                        Laurilyn J. Frasier, RMC/MMC


Supervisor Stanley stated that we are here tonight because the Catskill Center for Conservation and the Catskill Corridor Collaborative Committee have forwarded a draft Corridor Management Plan for the proposed Catskill Mountain Scenic Byway and Peter Manning is here from the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development will introduce the document.



Peter Manning – Thanked the Town Board for the opportunity to address the Board again, I say again, because I was here  in 2008 at which time I was hired as regional planner and was asked to go beyond what was done before, which was excellent.  Helen Buddrock  did a lot of excellent work in a lot of individual communities and my charge when I got here in late 2007 was to work with several communities at once  as a regional planner so in doing that I came to you along with six other communities along the Route 28 Corridor and I asked you to assist me in the process, specifically I wanted to engage in what we call an inter-municipal or regional dialog meaning that all of these six communities or seven the latter came later.   Working together, to protect and promote the resources that make the Central Catskills Route 28 Corridor Special.  You said, yes and by doing that you adopted a resolution to have this dialog and you also designated two members to the Central Catskills Collaborative Committee, the advisory committee that was created.  Shortly after the other communities did what you did and they each had two members to the group.   This group convened in May 2008 and we adopted several recommendations including explore the nomination for the Scenic Byway for Route 28.   Also in 2008, DEC said, if you would like to create a scenic byway we have resources for you, everyone said that is great, because we have adopted several recommendations.  Moving into late 2008 we found that NYSDEC had no resources for us because, that fell into some financial hard times in 2008.  However this inter-municipal group wanted to go forth, we turned on a dime and submitted an application to the Catskill Watershed Corporation, that was successful, but much less then the amount that the NYSDEC had promised.   This turned out to be a blessing, because all of the communities stepped up to become a large part of the plan and it turned out to be much better, because nobody can talk about their community then the people that live there.   So the plan is filled with local expression because of the involvement of the local communities.


A Scenic Byway is a road with a storey to tell.  It is also a community that has outstanding resources in one or more of the following areas;  Recreation, recreational, scenic, cultural, historical and natural.  If you can prove to the State that you have one or more of those then you are in good shape to submit a Scenic Byway nomination.  We found that we have all of them and you can read about that in the document.   Very early on we asked the Scenic Byway Manager to attend one of our meetings.   She said that a Scenic Byway is an economic development through tourism tool.  What do we mean about that here on Route 28, it allows all of these communities to package and promote these resources.  If these communities get designation it is a piece of legislation signed by the Governor.   It brings you recognition from State agencies for instance.  Having worked at the Department of State, division of local government where we know that we have more than 1600 local governments.  When NYS looks out and see that we have clusters of local governments working and getting their act together, they are going to get more recognition.  So a State designated Scenic Byway is even better than that, you are cooperating together and then you get this designation.   So, when there is a problem when one Superintendent calls, you are in essence calling for the entire 50 miles of road or the group of towns.  The other benefit is you become eligible for funding and this is still alive and well it comes from the Federal Government and every year it has continued to remain available for designated Scenic Byways and others in the State have used this program.  In order to do the nomination you have to do the Scenic Corridor Plan which you have a copy of and a copy is on your website, at


Carol O’Bern – Chairman of the Central Catskills Collaborative

I think that it is clear to us, having for these past few years on this project and know what the situation we have in the Central Catskills knowing what our economic future is, that working together in a collaborative fashion focused on the best of our communities and the best of our businesses and bringing that all together under a Scenic Byway designation seems that it is the most appropriate and the most efficient and effective way we should be going.  We know what our assets are, but we have to learn how to tell people what our assets are.  We know what we enjoy every day, and how we can take advantage of that and build an economy and invite people or tourists to come and enjoy those assets to help us to be able to stay here our selves.  I think that is one of the biggest worries that we all have especially after the flooding, how are we going to sustain our communities, how are we going to have jobs for our young people so that we have families stay here.  How can we sustain our tax base and all survive.  To us after working on this project, we feel that this is an excellent opportunity for us.  Each one of the municipalities have work diligently together to put together this plan and as far as the Central Catskills Chamber is concerned, we really encourage you to support this effort.  Thank you!


Public Comment


Al Higly – we have heard about the assets, let’s hear about the liabilities.  The State of New York already owns 75% of this town and also in our neighboring town of Olive the State and the City of New York own 66% of that town.  This is another government agency, so called a collaborative agency to expand more government to take more rights away from what we already don’t have.  I have the signage here, they can tell you what kind of signs to put up and next they will tell you what kind of lights to put up.  Also, who is paying for all of this, who is paying the salaries for this four years of study?   The state of New York can’t even fund a flood disaster and here we are reaching out to a Scenic Byway, more government agencies, mean more money.  It all sounds good on the surface on the asset side, let us here about the liabilities.


Charlie Frasier – it sounds like this is going to supersede some of our zoning, is the town ready to give that commitment up.  We currently have signage laws that would be superseded by this law.  I agree with Al, another layer of bureaucracy, you have got to make sure we have some kind of control over it.


Alfie Higley – the Town just approved a major sign plan, how is that going to affect that, are we going to have these signs built and now we cannot have these signs, because they say so.


Al Frisenda – going back to what Al said, about the percentage of land that is owned by the state.

The land that is left in Shandaken is primarily along the Route 28 corridor, Route 214 and Route 42, there is not much left to be developed in this town.  We have a comprehensive zoning ordinance, that regulates land use through the Town of Shandaken’s oversight.  I do not want to see Shandaken give up its’ control over the land use to an outside agency that is just going to represent another layer of control and bureaucracy that we gave away.  We put up with that with the DEC and the DEP, let’s not go overboard.  Keep control in our own hands.


Al Higley – There is a very poor turnout here and somehow you have to get this advertised a little better there are a lot of people involved.  I am not saying that this is the right thing or wrong thing, I just want to know more about it, because it effects everyone in the community.


Peter Manning – stated that the concerns are valid and they had the same concerns within their committee, they wanted to know more about it, what the catch is and most importantly are their any regulations.  That is when we had the Scenic Byways coordinator come in and explain all of these things.  There is one regulation and that is the regulation of off premise signage.  In the Town of Shandaken that regulation already exists because of the Catskill Park, so technically there are no off premise signs otherwise known as bill boards aloud on State highways in the Catskill Park.  That is the only regulation, everything else is home rule.  Remember this is your project, not the Catskill Centers.   There is no loss of local control.  This project is different because you.  You Shandaken, Olive, Andes, Middletown, Hurley, Margaretville and Fleischmanns get to say if there is a Scenic Byway.   Every community will have to designate and support this application before it is submitted.


Open Discussion


Councilman Bartlett asked if Mr. Manning could talk about the advantages of a Scenic Byway.


Mr. Manning – One of the things that just came out is a Scenic Byway map of New York State, the cover on that had the Adirondacks on it and if you read it, it had this proposal listed.  A Scenic Byway on the state level, will get you more promotions.  He then reiterated that this will actually bring tourists here, it will pull people off the thruway to a special place.   The outdoor recreation in this area is really not marketed and these communities said that they can do better then that, I am only here to help.  This is your and the other six communities project.


Al Higley said that I think a lot of us agree with what you are trying to do, we are just a little gun shy, with the DEC and the DEP owning 75% of the land and only paying 10% of the taxes, we are getting screwed here and everybody knows it.


Gary Gailes asked about signs for a new business that opens on Route 28, is this going to effect that?


Mr. Manning said that they have the tourist destination signs that already exist, bill boards are technically not aloud in the Catskill Park, unless they are grandfathered in.  We have these TOD signs that are brown and yellow that will point down a road, now if there is another turn, this will not work.   This collaborative is suppose to fix that problem, and I was told by a state employee that yes, we should fix that, but no one is making noise about it.  So that is another advantage with a group like this.


Discussion on Off premise sign.


Motion by Supervisor Stanley to close the public hearing on the Scenic Byway and draft Corridor Management Plan, seconded by Councilman Bernstein, all in favor, motion carried.