New Paltz Town Planning Board members granted approval to the Mohonk Preserve Foothills project at the July 25 meeting. It was the end of more than two years of review that included a marathon public hearing that, according to Preserve executive director Glenn Hoagland’s count, stretched to 13 sessions, compared to just five for the controversial CVS project. The Foothills are 857 acres between the village and the Preserve. The tract was acquired by the Open Space Institute and sold to Mohonk Preserve. This plan would subdivide 19.1 acres to convey back to OSI, and put in trail heads, parking and other amenities clustered mostly near the Testimonial Gateway and Hasbrouck House.
The most worrisome concerns of neighbors deal with traffic impacts, and what’s seen as the most important mitigation measure — reducing the speed limit on that stretch of Route 299 — wasn’t something that planning board members could impose at all, as it’s a state road. Construction will be phased, with the Hasbrouck House section being done after the work near the gatehouse and on Lenape Lane.