Letter from Woodstock #2
Lake Water and the Future of Local Development
Above Woodstock in the hamlet of Lake Hill is a beautiful
reservoir called Cooper Lake. At dawn or at sunset it
is one of the most visually thrilling locations in this
part of the Catskills. Cooper Lake supplies much of
the City of Kingston's water.
The water is piped down Route 212 and then down Zena
Road to a water treatment facility about half way between
Woodstock and Kingston. There
it is filtered
1999 there were considerable upgrades to the treatment
facility including 8 steel pressure filters.
Woodstock Pondering Grabbing Some of Kingston's Water
Beginning in 2001 I wrote a few articles on the interest
of some in Woodstock's town government to build a filtration
plant to tap into and filter (as required by law) Kingston's
water line coming down from Cooper Lake. Why? Well,
it was to facilitate, I was told by two upper-level
Woodstock officials, future growth along Wittenberg
Road and up along 212 toward Lake Hill.
There are tens of millions of dollars, maybe more, to
be made by rezoning to one or two acres and building
tract houses and commercial buildings along the Bearsville-Wittenberg
Road. To check it out, pretend you are a developer then
drive along Bearsville Wittenberg Road and drool with
total greed at the large fields, meadows, and buildable
parcels, hundreds and hundreds of acres, along and not
far from the roadway. It's a greed-head's key lime pie
of absolute moolah.
The contemplated use of Kingston's water to help build
out Woodstock would require building of a water filtering
plant and also either the extension of the downtown
sewer lines or the construction of a new treatment plant.
Several prominent Woodstockers have been pushing for
both running sewer lines to the key lime moolah pie
as well as filtering Cooper Lake water for the same
Kingston's Expanding Its Water Selling
October 18, 2003
It was reported that the City of Kingston's water treatment
plant will increase its capacity from 4,000,000 gallons
per day to 8,000,000 That's double! Meaning water usage
in Kingston (and the towns to which Kingston supplies
increase by 100%.
January 2, 2004
More information about Kingston's water came out. State
Comptroller Alan Hevesi approved the running of sewer
service along Washington Avenue into the town of Ulster.
This will help commercial development in the area around
that difficult-to-negotiate new Thruway traffic circle.
One Ulster Councilperson has speculated that the sewer
district could be extended over the Thruway to the Route
If they extend the Kingston/Ulster sewer up Route 28,
then it would almost be totally certain that Woodstock's
water (from Cooper Lake) would be looped around and
brought also, along with the sewer lines, up Route 28
into Hurley to fuel motels, malls, subdivisions and
I was suspicious of this a few years ago, and I spoke
with then Kingston Mayor T.R. Gallo, who promised me
that Kingston had no intention of running Cooper Lake
water across the Thruway into Hurley. But now, of course,
Gallo, with his enormous legacy of bring the old City
Hall back to its 10th century glory, is gone, and the
game of build build build is upon us in the post-911
Hurley Town government, I've heard, is eager to expand
commercial development in order to slurp up more taxes.
(There goes 375 leading into Woodstock.)
one question for Woodstockers is whether they want the
Water from Cooper Lake diverted to spur growth on Rte
28 and Woodstock. And will there be pressure to raise
the dam to hold more water?
will Woodstock's water go in a huge circle fueling excess
Spot Zoning in California Quarry
California Quarry, located off Mead's Mountain Road
on California Quarry Road, used to be a free campground
for visitors until local controversy over hippies camping
out on public property caused the Town Board in 1969
to close the Quarry and Big Deep to public use.
During the 1970s and ’80s the Town allowed the
various cable companies that have owned the Woodstock/West
Hurley cable system to built a concatenation of ugly
towers in the Quarry. For some years, the Town received
rent for use of California Quarry for cable towers,
but in recent years, in a climate of ineptitude, has
allowed Time-Warner to use the Quarry.
Now, along comes a company that wants to build a tower
in California Quarry and give Woodstock half the money.
Apparently the Town intends to spot-zone the Quarry,
lowering it to an R-5 district in order for a tower
to be constructed under the provisions of Woodstock's
Residents in the California Quarry are upset. It's likely
they will sue, first against the spot-zoning; and second
against the imposition of a huge tower and its likely
attendant dish farm.
Many Woodstockers are grumbling and pointing to the
old landfill as a much more appropriate place for a
tower. There is pressure from cellphone users in Woodstock
for better service. I'm told a system of repeaters can
be placed here and there, virtually unseeable, which
could bring cell service to the valleys, hills and heights
of the town.
Why not the landfill? It's much more isolated, and there
is already a cell tower within eyesight of the landfill,
on Goat Hill Road.
How About a Woodstock Housing Authority?
Readers can read the interesting Paul Kirby article
in the Freeman about the Kingston Housing Authority.
The Kingston Housing Authority was formed in 1948, has
owned and operated successfully a bunch of housing facilities
in the 65 years of its existence.
The Kingston Housing Authority has seven complexes which
it owns or manages.
Former Ulster County Democratic Chair Thomas Hoffay,
is vice president of the KHA. Hoffay is an outstanding
public servant, and how about Woodstock approaching
Mr. Hoffay for advice and counsel on how to create a
Woodstock Housing Authority?
With a WHA affordable housing could be kept affordable.
It could raise money and build dispersed small-sized
affordable units here and there throughout the township.
Bob Lavaggi, a Woodstock artist and man of the theater,
is also knowledgeable in creating affordable housing
that stays affordable housing. He could be consulted.
And Gerry Ricci is building a 4-unit affordable project
on the site of the legendary Sled Hill Café on
Sled Hill Road in downtown Woodstock, two of the units
to be handicapped accessible.
All hail the affordable housing that stays affordable