Road Stream Crossings
The Town of North East Road-Stream Crossing Management Plan was produced by The Housatonic Valley Association in 2020. Its purpose was to identify which stream-road crossings were in the highest need of replacement. The priority was determined by “flood risk, potential to restore stream habitat connectivity, and maintenance need.” Additionally, this document provides “Best Management/Design Practices” to address these concerns, as well as suggest structures designed to need less maintenance and have a longer lifespan, thus being more cost effective in the long term. This project has been funded in part by The Climate Smart Community Grant Program, Title 15 of the Environmental Protection Fund through the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
This plan is available via these links:
HOUSATONIC VALLEY ASSOCIATION
HOUSATONIC VALLEY ASSOCIATION
In their recent and thorough revision of the joint Town of North East and Village of Millerton Comprehensive Plan (2019), the authors recognized the vital importance of our local natural environment in numerous places. The Plan outlines many actions the Town of North East and Village of Millerton can take over the next 10 to 15 years to address their environmental vision and meet their goals. A major part of the plan’s opening statement is symptomatic:
The enduring theme of North East and its historic, vibrant Village of Millerton is its entrepreneurial spirit that benefits from its location within 100 miles of a major metropolitan area and its resource-rich landscape guided by a strong commitment to preserve the environment and ecosystems. We prioritize economic and environmental resiliency in the midst of climate disruption.
View or download the full plan here.
The Town of North East Water Resources map shows delicate ecosystems protected by the state Department of Environmental Conservation: rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, and wetlands. Expanded outlines reveal areas that are vulnerable to flooding in extreme weather. Called a 100-year floodplain, these “rare” events are occurring more frequently due to climate change. The map also shows the areas where groundwater recharges the aquifers that are the source of the well water we all depend on. Protecting all these waters from chemicals and pollutants preserves the health of plants, animals, and humans. The flood map is available here.
A full size map is available in the Comp Plan Reference Appendix.
Parcel Access, another Dutchess County resource, has maps that show an additional level of detail: a 50-year floodplain. These areas are, of course, more prone to future flooding. Start here.
Significant Habitats in the Town of North East is an extensive survey of living ecosystems performed by Hudsonia in 2008 that mapped our entire town. The report details meadows, forests, swamps, marshes, and steep slopes, varied upland and wetland areas. North East contains large tracts of high-quality contiguous forests and wetlands as well as vernal pools and acidic bogs and a rarity in this region, marble knolls. Our town, Hudsonia says, is 92-percent “significant habitat.” Some of the native flora and fauna either identified or deemed likely are sensitive to human disturbance; some areas are vulnerable enough to be protected by conservation designations. Map available here.
A high-resolution map is included on page 88 of the 2019 Comp Plan.
The complete Hudsonia report is available here.
Agriculture is at the heart of our community. Designated agricultural districts include nine-tenths of the land in North East. The designation provide farmers with legal protections so they can access and manage their land productively without interference from neighbors. It is a commitment we have made in support of farming. A review of a district is conducted every eight years from the anniversary date of the district’s formation. During this eight-year period, parcels may be added or removed from the district.
Town Solar Law
In 2018, to encourage use of solar power by residents and businesses, North East enacted a set of regulations for installing photovoltaic (solar) power-generating equipment in the Town. Placed within Local Law 3 of 2018, “A Law to Regulate Solar Energy Systems,” (find the Law here and the Resolution adopting it here) they are intended to encourage the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions in the area while making sure solar installations are sound, safe, and durable, and are assets to the community. This law is in response to section 263 of the state’s Town Law, which encourages “the accommodation of solar energy systems.”
As safe as you feel right now, you never know when you will be in an emergency. It is best to have a plan in place ahead of time to help make a stressful or dangerous situation easier to navigate. Dutchess County Government has compiled several resources to help you be prepared in the event of weather related or man-made disaster, including:
Motorized vehicles not allowed: The 26-mile Harlem Valley Rail Trail is a centerpiece of our local outdoor lifestyle and walkable village, as well as a magnet of regional importance to cyclists, and a key supplier of trade to Millerton businesses. It is specifically a rural rail trail, which is unusual in our often urban and semi-urban society. There is access to the Trail at every road crossing with formal parking in a half dozen places and more to come.
HARLEM VALLEY RAIL TRAIL
HARLEM VALLEY RAIL TRAIL
Complete Streets is a visionary policy that sees all forms of transportation coexisting safely and equitably whether in a hamlet or dense city center. North East has adopted it, pledging to pursue its design principles wherever possible as the town improves and maintains our roadways.
View the policy here.
Here are some technical and design resources and guides:
- NY State DOT Guidelines for Complete Streets
- Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks, 2016
Walk-Bike Dutchess: The Pedestrian-Bicycle Plan for Dutchess County, 2014 This is a 20-year “vision for improving walking and bicycling conditions in Dutchess County. Key excerpts start on page 242.
The Millerton Pedestrian Plan is a Dutchess County Transportation Council report which inventoried existing village streets and sets out a vision for improving and enhancing safety and experience for pedestrians.
View the plan here.
Greenway Guides are from the Dutchess County Planning and Development office. They demonstrate a wide range of best practices for planning and development in a rural community. Individual Guides delve into subjects from considering roads and parking lots to siting buildings and landscaping in commercial and residential neighborhoods.
Here are links to some of the guides: