The development team of the proposed Winston Farm concept in Saugerties should be given the opportunity to follow the required application procedures and seek public input to revise and refine as needed. A full State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) and other studies are now underway. The public is being given ample opportunity to weigh in on the proposed concept. And refinements based on feedback have already born results, including dedicating large portions of the site to open space and woodlands.
The concept proposes something very much needed in the area — housing, lots of it, as well as some entertainment facilities and commercial. The current 2022 tight employment conditions are no reason to stop the project since the economy can go up and down. Naysayers also claim that ‘we don’t want to build more and encourage new residents to move to our area’. I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but they are coming anyways — and driving up home prices astronomically since so little new housing is available.
Well-oiled regional-operating environmental groups decided early on that they didn’t want this project, no matter what. No negotiation or conversation is to be had with them — it has been tried. They hired their usual go-to “experts” to excitingly proclaim concerns about everything from turtles to water. But if a group refuses to even engage in good faith, to find common ground, then it’s no longer solution-seeking, but demagoguery.
Let the process continue, refine, and create a model for how large initiatives such as this can still be accomplished in Ulster County.