Orangetown Town Board Must Vote "NO" to MFR Zone Change in Blauvelt

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On a magical 17-acre stretch of forest, straddled between Route 303 and Greenbush Road in Blauvelt, dinosaur footprints have rested undisturbed for more than 200 million years. The discovery of the footprints was announced by the State Geological Survey in 1972, noting that the footprints are the first evidence that dinosaurs once lived in New York State.

The Town of Orangetown Comprehensive Plan has identified this site as one that should be protected as open space.

Rockland County’s 2020 capital budget will include funding for open space acquisition that could be used to help preserve this lot. Also, The Trust for Public Land ( ) has agreed to coordinate a conservation effort, and there is support for preservation on the state, county and local levels.

Now, application is being made by a developer requesting that the Orangetown Town Board change the Town’s zoning law for this parcel of real property. This is a request so that a developer can construct 68 high-density housing units on this parcel. The Town of Orangetown and its residents do not want Spot Zoning for this or any other site in Our Town. Residents want to preserve Open Space, local history and minimize density. Orangetown residents want a quality of life analysis to be made by the Town Board Members. Less housing and more Open Space, Parks, Ball Fields and out-door recreational areas.

Higher density housing would impact upon traffic, sewer usage and water usage. Rockland County aquifers are already over-maxed due to over-development in other Towns (i.e. Ramapo). In addition, the proposed high-density housing could have a tremendous impact upon school budgets and result in higher taxes for Orangetown residents. Higher density also impacts upon budgets for police, highway and other services. Orangetown residents do not want higher taxes just to accommodate another developer’s plan for higher development.

While the Ryerson Farms proposal calls for donating some of the acreage fronting Greenbush Road to the town, a 2008 study by paleontologist Paul Olsen reveals that a large area of scientific interest in the center of the property would be destroyed forever if the MFR zone change is approved.

A partnership with the Trust for Public Land coupled with Rockland County’s new open space legislation present new opportunities to preserve this precious parcel.

The Town Board as our elected officials should support and pursue every effort to preserve all the dinosaur footprints as a scientific reservation for education and enjoyment. Once the footprints are destroyed, they will be lost forever.

By signing this Petition, I/We urge the Orangetown Town Board to vote “NO” on the Ryerson Farms, LLC downzoning application. 


More Information:

The Pubic Hearing for a zone change to MFR - Multi-Family Residence -  is being continued this TUESDAY - OCTOBER 1 at Orangetown Town Hall  at 7:50pm. Show up to voice your concerns!!

View the last Public Hearing on the proposed MFR zone change: Town Board Meeting (3 Sept.) - start at approximately 50 minutes:

Lohud Article:

The Orangetown Town Board may decide as early as October 1 to grant a significant zoning change to allow construction of 68 high-density housing units in Blauvelt. 

• There is currently no other high-density housing in Blauvelt. This zone change is inconsistent with the existing Orangetown Comprehensive Plan. 

• A decision in favor of the development would set a dangerous precedent allowing more such housing in Orangetown. 

• Higher density housing will impact traffic, sewer usage and water usage. Rockland County aquifers are already over-maxed due to over-development in other Towns (i.e. Ramapo). 

• The proposed high-density housing may well impact budgets for schools, police, roads and other services, resulting in higher taxes. 

• The 17-acre parcel of land is located between Route 303 and North Greenbush Rd. adjacent to Buttermilk Falls County Park. Two-thirds of the property is zoned for one-acre single family housing. The remaining 1/3 is zoned for light industry.