Thank you Mike DeVivo, Frank Zamperlin, Karla Ruth and many others for their persistence in the struggle to keep the 235 acres known HYH land as open space. The beautiful forested ridge south and east of Pudding Street will be preserved in its natural state for the enjoyment of the residents of New York in perpetuity. Congratulations! For more than 20 years it was a hard fought struggle but the purchase of the land by the Open Space Institute is a positive result for us all.
Some residents have raised concerns about the land coming “off the tax rolls”. This is a false assumption. The Open Space Institute which has millions of dollars will pay the taxes until the State of New York buys it from them, probably in the next six months. For us tax payers, the purchase will have no negative tax consequence since the State of New York is required by law to pay property and school taxes on all land owned by the state.
On the other hand, if this land had been developed, it could have been a disincentive for residents because the property and school taxes levied generally fall short of the expense to the town for services, particularly the schools. For example, if each house built has only two children, the expense of their education is $20,000+ per child or combined $40,000+ for 13 years. With estimated property taxes of $15,000, the residents of Putnam Valley would have to bear the additional tax burden. For example, a five lot subdivision would cost the taxpayers a minimum of $175,000.
Roaring Brook Lake is now nearly surrounded by protected land which assures us a lovely neighborhood, opens opportunities for hiking and snow shoeing, and provides habitats for abundant wildlife. We are fortunate that our neighbors fought the good fight and we appreciate their dedication in keeping the 235 acres of formally HYH land a pristine woodland parcel for all of us to enjoy.