Development Proposal Next to Sterling Forest Seeks Plan Changes

Author: 
Patsy Wooters, president Torne Valley Preservation Association
Date: 
12/01/2009
Source: 
Email to Highlands Coalition list

Tom Wilson of the Tuxedo Land Trust has opened a Legal Defense Fund to challenge decisions of the Tuxedo Town Board regarding Related Companies application for a revised special permit for Tuxedo Reserve. The long-term goal is conservation of these 2,300 acres. While the project received approvals in 2004, it was never built, and the project sponsor is back before the Town Board seeking major amendments. It is believed that without approval of these amendments, the original approved plan is unworkable.

Tuxedo Reserve would entail construction of 1,196 residential units, 103,000 square feet of clubhouses and amenities, and 33,000 square feet of retail on rugged mountain land bordering the Sterling Forest State Park between the villages of Sloatsburg and Tuxedo Park. The project would be situated on a pristine portion of the sole source Ramapo River Aquifer, and on terrain which has unique biological and archeological importance.

The property contains at least four, possibly five, State regulated wetlands, federal wetlands, and vernal pools which support several special concern species, including a particularly large population of marbled salamanders. While the Reserve's Environmental Impact Statement found no timber rattlesnakes on the property, a crew of laborers working there not only found one, but they cooked it and ate it!

The proposed amendments include moving a neighborhood of 49 units and a clubhouse into a sensitive area between two State wetlands, which would block a known wildlife corridor and eliminate an additional 96 acres of unfragmented forest.

Wilson is inviting all interested individuals and groups to join in a coalition, much like that which saved Sterling Forest, and later stopped the Sterling Forge Estates development (the "doughnut hole"), to work to stop this project and eventually purchase the land as an addition to Sterling Forest State Park.

Additional information on Related's application can be downloaded from the Town website at www.tuxedogov.org/TuxedoReserve.htm. Wilson can be contacted at [email protected].