Hyde Park was described to me by someone that resided south of Hyde Park as the 'soft cream between two cookie crunches.'  Well, yeah it is. The following link is the proposition of Local Law D which promotes the economic development of the Bellefield Area of Hyde Park. At this time, there is the Hyatt Hotel project which would include RETAIL stores that would be available to the residents of the town. http://www.hydeparkny.us/Government/LL_D_of_2010_Site_Plan_Review_By_Town_Board.pdf

Ms. Rohr wrote a letter to the Poughkeepsie Journal dated  July 25, 2010 in which she wrote the following: http://www.mhvperspective.com/?AllLtrs=2010-07-25

Proposed law is bad deal for Hyde Park

The Hyde Park Town Board is proposing a very significant change with Local Law D. It can be viewed at the official town website, hydeparkny.us.

The law will rezone the area at our southern gateway, the Bellefield District, to "general commercial" from "tourist commercial." This will drastically alter what businesses are permitted and also change how much can be residential, the density, and other aesthetic and functional aspects of this important area.

Bellefield features a 339-acre parcel across from the Culinary Institute of America. This property has a history - it was lost to the county for failure to pay taxes. After many years, the county sold it for a mere $2.75 million, justifying the low sales price with the promise that new development here would provide both a commercial sewer district and commercial uses that would not compete with the existing town center but would enhance it with complementary businesses. With proposed Local Law D, Hyde Park will get neither of these benefits. Instead, our gateway will be open to more strip malls.

These changes should not be instituted rashly. The bottom line is the democratic process is alive and well in Hyde Park and we all should be part of it.

There will be a public hearing on this proposed law Monday at the Hyde Park Town Hall. Please consider joining me in letting our officials know why these changes require careful consideration.

Aileen Rohr
Hyde Park Planning Board Member Hyde Park

Ms. Rohr has stated in this letter and in her website campaign the need for existing town center (where it is I do not know, since Hyde Park is spread out over Rt. 9 from Coco's to the Post Office). There are a few concerns about this 'town center.' Hyde Park lacks a sewer district and at approx. $300 a foot, it will be rather expensive to install one. So, if she proposes a business coming into town and setting up shop in this imaginary existing 'town center' and wishing to build new structures, they will also need to build their own sewage treatment facilities. Where exactly are they going to be built?

Secondly, how many Hyde Park residents frequent the retail shops of Poughkeepsie and Kingston and conribute to their commercial tax base?  When she vilifies 'strip malls'  being built in an area that has the room and resources to accomodate growth it can allude that she is against commercial growth all together.

If Hyde Park had retail stores at the southern gateway into town, would it deter from the existing retail shops in town? How many shoppers head to Poughkeepsie, Wappingers and Kingston to stop by one store for a specific item and end up stopping by at another store because they happened to be in that area?

The last time I checked, the Hyde Park Gift Shop went out of business long, long ago and so did the 'tourist commecial' area of Hyde Park.  As I drive through the southern area, I see a storage facility, Stop & Shop, Coco's, a Beer/Beverage Distributer, Giggles, Subway, a bar, an empty mall, a movie theater, so I don't know how this area is 'tourist commercial.' Hmmmmmmm.

And finally, in country that has thrived in free market trade (well except in recent years, but that's an entire other blog topic altogether), who is she to discourage developers wanting to invest in this town?

This are arguments that can negate Ms. Rohr's position that developing Hyde Park's southern gateway should be prevented.
Now that she is running for Supervisor, does she still represent the ideals of Stop the Sprawl?
Perhaps she could address these concerns in her run for Supervisor.
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    August 2011