Rosendale’s unrealized potential

Despite Rosendale’s storybook charm and attractions such as the Trestle, the independent theater, and the river that runs through Main Street, the town’s real estate market isn’t living up to its potential. The already-low median sales price for Rosendale homes declined by 17 percent last year, according to Trulia.com, while sales figures in neighboring towns such as Hurley and Kingston ballooned by 36 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

Thanks to Rosendale’s aging housing stock and its lax approach to enforcing building-code compliance, a perfectly nice house may be surrounded by wrecks. Many outrageous conditions aren’t even covered by the current code, which was adopted in 2006 and sorely needs updating. It isn’t unusual to see a tarp being used as permanent roofing, plywood sheets slapped up to repair a fence, big rotting piles of wood in a front yard, or even someone living in an RV in a driveway. One of my neighbors keeps six dogs in a 500-square-foot house on 0.2 acres of land. But none of these are code violations, according to Rosendale Code Enforcement Officer Nicholas Wulczyn, who declined comment for this story.

“Surrounding properties in bad shape can make it difficult or impossible to sell a house,” says Steven Asher Cohen, an associate broker at Berkshire Hathaway Nutshell Realty in High Falls. “Rosendale is a little more rundown than neighboring towns, and it doesn’t have that many high-end homes. You’ve got to find the right buyer who doesn’t mind that.”

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On the small private road where I live, there are about 10 homes, one of which is condemned. Another is in foreclosure, and one has had countless code violations over the years. While trying to sell the second house that I bought and fixed up on the road, I got feedback from prospective buyers that they loved the house but were turned off by the dilapidated houses that flank it (the condemned house and the one with code violations).

I repeatedly have asked town officials to take action to clean up these shabby properties, but the issues persist. The condemned house has been in that condition for at least 10 years and probably much longer. I gave town officials the name of the owner and told them he lives in Rosendale, yet they say they haven’t been able to track him down. And when I expressed an idea I had to make the road more habitable and marketable by clearing a long strip of waterfront land that I own and attaching a piece of it to the condemned house’s parcel, which might then be worth buying and fixing up, I was met with resistance from the Planning Board. Rather, the board members were fixated on the fact that the changes I proposed would involve — gasp! — getting a variance. “We don’t care about property values,” one board member actually said.

Maybe they should. The combination of this backward attitude and lack of housing-code enforcement, along with an outdated code, undercut Rosendale’s competitiveness in the real estate market. They form a barrier to attracting the new, more affluent residents that Rosendale needs to rehabilitate its deteriorating houses and boost its tax base, especially given that its population has dipped by nearly six percent over the past 10 years.

The Williams Lake Project, an upscale resort and residential community that has been in the planning stages for a decade, doesn’t seem poised to change the situation. If Williams Lake ever does get off the ground, I doubt the owners will be able to find enough people willing to pay big bucks for Rosendale real estate. The resale value just isn’t there.

At a recent Rosendale Town Board meeting, I was the only resident present, besides an elderly man who seemed to have come for the company. Have Rosendale residents just given up? I wondered. Town Supervisor Jeanne Walsh responded to my criticisms by scolding, “You have been a very difficult resident to deal with.” In other words, the problem is me.

I think Rosendale needs a lot more difficult residents to shake up its complacent leadership and help boost its economy. Otherwise, the town will continue to lag behind its neighbors and never realize its potential. And many Rosendale residents will continue to have neighbors who rack up code violations and depress the town’s property values.

There are 60 comments

  1. Ed Banning

    Your article is inaccurate at best and offensive at worst. I attended a number of the Planning Board meetings at which you presented your project. You were belligerent and offensive to the members of the Planning Board, all of whom take no salary and are there of their own volition and dedication to service to make Rosendale a better place. If I remember correctly, your project was approved, was it not? Also, the Board wasn’t “fixated” on you getting a variance, it just happens to be against the law/code for you to have done what you wanted without a variance from another board (i.e. the Rosendale Zoning Board of Appeals) because your lots are too small, and you wanted to make them smaller. Anyone who has been around planning or real estate knows you can’t make a non-conforming lot smaller without an area variance. And the Planning Board cannot approve a lot line adjustment for you to make your lot smaller and more non-conforming without said variance. Get it? Seems simple to me. And, god forbid the Planning Board dare ask you if you have a road maintenance agreement for your private road so that the residents are all protected legally if you decide to go on another tirade and – GASP! – prevent the other legal landowners on the private road from accessing their property through your parcel despite their deeded right to access…..I could go on and on…

    And from what I hear, you have been a difficult resident to deal with. You can’t just come in to Town Hall or a Planning Board meeting and yell at people and expect them to drop what they are doing in order to placate you, particularly when you are yelling and screaming. Ever hear the phrase “you get more flies with honey than with vinegar?” Words to live by in the adult world.

    New Paltz Times – please do a better job at screening these letters to the editor, particularly when they libel public servants….

    1. Sticks McGhee

      According to your Rosedale Government page, the Board of Assessment Review is 1) listed in the wrong section 2) fails to state that Board of Assessment Review members are town-employees (i.e hourly rate 3) That in conflict with New York State Law, an “appointment is required” to sit before the Board of Assessment Review on Grievance Day.
      There’s no libel against public-servants here, they make up the rules as they go along everywhere.

      1. charlie Murphy

        the BAR and the planning board are two different boards. I don’t know what bringing the BAR into this discussion has to do with anything in this thread….

        1. Excellente

          To repeat: Zoning Board members don’t get paid. They are not Town employees. Planning Board members don’t get paid because they are not Town employees. Board of Assessment Review members do get paid and that makes them Town Employees.
          Only the Board of Assessment Review is required to exist by state law, performing as a quasi-judicial body in the real-property grievance process, and the Rosendale assessment rolls tells the whole story about your municipality, not the zoning board minutes or the planning board minutes.
          The only true potential for Rosendale is to keep on selling that dope (weed, that is, mary-jane, smoke.)

    2. Karen Angel

      This is an Op-Ed, not a letter. It is an opinion piece bolstered with facts. You don’t have to agree with the content, but rather than launching personal attacks against the author, you might focus on the content. You did not refute any of the facts mentioned or points made in this article, perhaps because you are unable to. Also, I did not object to having to get a variance to add land from one of my plots to the other (although the process included some ridiculous twists, such as the Zoning Board opting to wait for a decision from the Planning Board before making its own decision, and the Planning Board sending me back to the Zoning Board for a decision because it is not allowed to act without first getting guidance from the Zoning Board. The players in the process should know how the process works and not unnecessarily lengthen and complicate the process for residents). When I mentioned a potential plan in addition to the original variance I was seeking, I was shot down and told it was unlikely I would get another variance and the board didn’t care about property values. This is the incident I cite in the article. Please get your facts straight and limit your personal invective.

      1. Farrokh Bulsara

        Semantics, semanticsm semantics. Take it up with state law then. NYS Town Law says that you can’t approve a special use permit for an undersized lot until you receive the variance, and also says that ZBA’s are required to refer variance applications to the Planning Board for a positive or negative referral decision before they can act on a variance. Seemes convoluted, and it can probably be easier, but I’d rather have the checks and balances. Based on town minutes you applied and were first heard in August and were approved in November. That’s a pretty good turnaround time considering the required public hearing and referrals and county planning board review.

        1. Karen Angel

          You’re missing my point. The Zoning Board should have known that if it didn’t vote on my variance request and instead opted to wait for the Planning Board’s vote, the Planning Board wasn’t going to be able to vote since it requires guidance from the Zoning Board before voting on a variance. That means I was sent back and forth between boards unnecessarily, and the process was lengthened by about a month since I had to return to the Zoning Board the next month and request that it vote so the Planning Board could vote, which equates to loss of revenue when you’re trying to sell a house.

          1. Brian May

            Just curious, have you sold the lot/house? Was the 1 extra month that detrimental when you still have yet to sell anything???

          2. Karen Angel

            Brian May: Ultimately, I decided to rent instead of sell, but yes, the month’s delay could have been a significant issue if we had gotten an acceptable cash offer during that period.

      2. Karen Angel

        Also, I don’t think the fact that Planning and Zoning Board positions are unpaid is relevant in the least. Whether or not they’re getting a salary, the members’ goal should be to boost property values and attract more residents.

      3. Melissa S

        Go Go Gatat Away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Opinion piece backed up by facts? When did this become the comic section? We only need one section for comics so let’s get real.

        Rosedale’s median price is actually $368 per square foot. The town’s median price is more than the two towns you are talking about, Kingston and Hurley. The property value is increasing, not decreasing. The median price of homes currently listed in Rosedale is $527,000 on which is more then Kingston and Hurley. Actually according to Zillow Rosedale actually went up 5.7%. Not as much of an increase but the home value is more.

        Don’t you love your zoning board?

  2. Marcus Davis

    Rosendale is a dump.
    A total dump.
    And anyone who’s “insulted” is breaking the social rules of being good neighbors.
    Once upon a time Rosendale was a little bit better – back around 2004 with more local
    busineses, the Cement Co. restaurant and more care-taking of streets, homes, properties,
    and yards.
    Today, Rosendale is a total dump.
    I drive through with people from other places and the single, repetitive comment every
    single one of them says is, “This town could be so cute. Why don’t they clean it up?”
    I don’t say anything because I know that Rosendale does not really care.
    Rosendale is a dump.

  3. Bruce E. Woych

    Rosendale is one of the last great little towns that has not been corrupted by commercial interests.
    It is what makes sleepy Americana towns inspiration for artists, poets and the natural creative spirit unfettered
    by the blinding and compulsive drive to develop and remodel everything into tomorrow longing for yesteryear.
    Driven to change and “update” only to complain about changes driven out of control by market demands.
    It is not about flies to honey or vinegar; the push towards compulsion is more about money and the fly traps of
    succession that follow and bury the history of an authentic town’s soul. Leave Rosie alone !

    1. Karen Angel

      Um, I’m talking about clearing and cleaning up riverfront land now being used as a garbage can and restoration of existing houses. not development. Do you want them all to just fall down? Many of the town’s houses are in various stages of doing just that.

  4. Displeased Neighbor

    One of these is my house Karen is talking about. She tried to scare me off it and lowball me an offer after my father passed away and left me a dilapidated house. When I said I wasn’t interested she started trying to get information from town and building inspectors that she had no right to. I am a young man who just lost his father and best friend less than 2 years ago with no other family to give advice or help with growing up or dealing with everything left behind. I was raised and grew up at this house and have never heard as many complaints as Karen makes. I have taken care of everything so far and will continue to in warm weather. Karen is a very unpleasant neighbor who thinks everyone has to appeal to her in a very quiet pleasant neighborhood. If you want to increase property value and sell the other house, sell both and move so it’s a pleasent road again.

    1. Karen Angel

      I didn’t try to scare you off, Zach. I told you what the code enforcement officer told me — that each violation on that house, and there are many, many, many, could rack up fines of as high as $200 a day. Not sure why it is you think I’m not entitled to this information, especially since it was freely given to me. I gave you the only offer I could afford to make considering that the house needs to be torn down by a certified asbestos-abatement contractor, and I was cited a $30,000 minimum fee for that alone. The idea I presented to the Planning Board, which was so unceremoniously shot down, was to get a variance to attach the waterfront land that I own in front of your house to your house’s tiny plot, thereby greatly increasing its value and allowing me to make you a higher offer. But since the Rosendale Planning Board doesn’t care about property values, or apparently the toll that the lack thereof can take on a resident, yourself included, that doesn’t sound like a feasible plan. I am not going to go back and fight with shortsighted people for more variances. It is too psychologically draining and time-consuming. Not sure what improvements you have made, but they are invisible to the naked eye. I do not plan to move. I have made more improvements to this road than anyone else, including, literally, paying to fix the road every year since none of my neighbors seems able or willing to do so. I have great sympathy for your personal situation, wish you only the best, and think you’re a very nice guy. But please understand that this house doesn’t just affect you. It affects everyone else on this road and recently, very directly and financially, affected me.

      1. David Robert Jones

        It’s not the planning board’s purview to deal with vacant or derelict properties and their impact on property values. that’s what they meant when they said that. They are there to look at your project and your project only and how it conforms to a written code. Very little wiggle room. Also, Planning Board’s don’t grant variances, so they couldn’t have shot down your water front idea. Plus. I’m pretty sure they approved you dissolving the lot line so that your waterfront property could be attached/combined with the other lot, so I have no clue what you are talking about… If you have a code enforcement issue, you need to take it up with the CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, not the planning board….

          1. Karen Angel

            Rick James: I did apply for a lot-line revision, and eventually, I received one. My point is that the process was unpleasant and unwieldy, and I encountered resistance to change and little to no encouragement to try to make improvements.

  5. Knowledgeable Real Estate Agent

    To be clear the value of homes in Rosendale increased by 16.67 percent in 2018 with 62 total residential properties sold. Via the MLS. The overal volume of residential sales was $13,925,575. Statistical source, the Ulster County MLS. If you are using Trulia for your source, they don’t know what they are talking about.
    Although there is always room for improvement, Rosendale is hardly a dump and it is regularly in demand by buyers from both in and out of town.

    1. Karen Angel

      Trulia uses assessor data, which is broader than MLS data. The MLS doesn’t represent all real estate sales, and the portion it represents is getting smaller and smaller (https://www.forbes.com/sites/alyyale/2018/06/18/is-the-mls-dead-the-threat-of-tech-new-homebuying-habits/#7531c0305851). Below is an explanation of how Trulia arrives at its figures from the head of its PR department. The site just updated its median sales figure for Rosendale for the past year, and now it’s even worse: -43 percent. In addition to the limits of MLS data, I would have to take your finding with a giant grain of salt since you aren’t even willing to use your name — an indication that a person stands by her statement and is willing to go on the record.

      “Each monthly median sales price is actually a rolling three month average. This figure is updated each week. So January 2019 is actually represented by all the sales from Oct 10, 2018 to Jan 9, 2019. We do this because some markets are very small and have very few sales in a given month – which means a single sale can skew the data for the whole market, making it look more expensive or cheaper than it really is.

      “As such, the year over year number that we provide compares one three-month period versus the same three-month period a year ago: Jan 2019 (Oct 10, 2018 to Jan 9, 2019) versus Jan 2019 (Oct 10, 2017 to Jan 9 2019).

      “In addition – our sales data is based on publicly available assessor data, and how those current those figures are is determined by the county. Some counties can have a two month lag in reporting sales, while some are more current.”

      1. Comparing Data

        Both sets of data could be true. It’s just how you slice it.

        Timeframe: Trulia’s year-over-year annual numbers are comparing how this fall did with last fall (Oct 10 to Jan 9 in both years). The real estate agent cited numbers for 2018. Presumably, that’s comparing Jan-Dec 2018 to the prior 12 months, including the much more active summer season.

        Data point: The Trulia data is for the median sale price, but the real estate agent said they were looking at “value of homes.” That may be assessment value and not sales?

        Boundary lines: The boundary lines could also be different on each set of data. Trulia’s map excludes parts Rosendale.
        https://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Rosendale-New_York/
        http://imo.ulstercountyny.gov/quickstream.aspx?file=PDFMAPS/514600/INDEX1.pdf
        The Rosendale boundary lines on Realtor.com are a third option:
        https://www.realtor.com/local/Rosendale_NY

        1. Karen Angel

          Trulia is using all publicly available assessor data for sales in Rosendale, so it’s data set should be broader and more accurate than MLS data, which only captures those sales that are listed on and reported to the MLS.

  6. Anne Pyburn Craig

    Oh dear…there’s an affordable, laid-back corner left in Ulster County? Quick! Gentrify!
    Ms. Angel, Rosendale has values that it values above your property values, yes. If you intend to stay, perhaps consider that there may be reasons for that. It also has a great many assets and a dear, warm quality of community life. A lot of brilliance comes out of that “dump.”

    A lot of people lead contented lives there in varying economic strata, from people who maybe would LOVE to fix that f’d up siding but need to eat and keep the lights on at the moment to goofy-azz millionaires who insist on entering and exiting by helicopter.

    What Rosendale is NOT is the ideal place in upstate NY to flip houses. Maybe everywhere doesn’t have to be? You say “unrealized potential,” a lot of those who love the Dale hear “…for exploitation” and go happily off for a drink or a movie.

    If you truly plan to stay, perhaps a little respect and even admiration for what exists would smooth your road. If you really can’t bear it, there’s no shortage of well-kempt expensive places.

    Then again, curmudgeons and gadflies are in the tradition as well, so maybe rock on wit’ ya bad self, IDC. 🙂

    1. Karen Angel

      Obviously, I see the good in Rosendale, too, or I wouldn’t be here.

      Housing codes are there for a reason, and unfortunately, abiding by them, and enforcing them, isn’t optional.

      As stated above, I will not respond to ad hominem attacks.

  7. Math?

    “At a recent Rosendale Town Board meeting, I was the only resident present, besides an elderly man who seemed to have come for the company.”

    Change to>> I was one of two residents in attendance.

    … I’m not sure why the elderly man doesn’t count.

  8. Anne Pyburn Craig

    I’m sorry if it felt like an attack, Karen; it wasn’t meant as one. I lived in Rosendale for 20 years. I first fell in love with it in the 1980s when it was even less prosperous than it is now but still wonderful. And I get the impression you’re having issues with your approach to the Powers that Be, so I was trying, perhaps clumsily, to share some insight into why you might be meeting some resistance. I wasn’t saying I don’t like you personally (I don’t know you, obvs) or calling you names; some of my best friends are curmudgeons. And no, I had not seen that comment on Chrono, and your opinion of Vassar Hospital is no skin off my nose whatsoever; my piece was reporting, not opinion.
    Can’t help but note, though, that you seem to dislike a lot of things about the Hudson Valley or at least the part of it under discussion. It’s my birthplace and was my home for a half century, and a lot of people — from curmudgeons to the Powers that Be persons they harass — are loved ones of mine. It also happens to be my opinion that much of the HV has become over-regulated and overpriced, and the idea of a friend with a tarped roof getting a $200 a day fine (or whatever) because you agitated, because property values, just does not sit right. That’s just MY opinion.

    1. Karen Angel

      Thanks, Anne.

      I don’t really consider myself a curmudgeon, though I will say that dealing with Rosendale issues and officials — and one in particular — brings out my most curmudgeonly side.

      No worries about the fines because none of that is being enforced. And even if it were, I didn’t make the rules or set the penalties. I’m tired after nearly ten years of dealing with neglectful homeowners, though, I want change.

      Although I think what I feel or don’t feel about the Hudson Valley is irrelevant, again, it’s probably safe to assume I came here for a reason. That reason has much to do with access to the outdoors and nature. I wasn’t prepared for the level of dysfunction I would encounter in local government, local businesses, and local medical institutions.

  9. BarbaraE

    It seems to me that Rosendale & Ms. Angel are NOT a good fit. Rhinebeck might be a better choice. Or Millerton. Or Canaan, Connecticut. Now, Connecticut towns are places where you DO NOT F**K WITH THE PLANNING & ZONING FOLKS!! Seriously, they’re hardcore in Connecticut. Those bastards eat code violaters for breakfast. So Ms, Angel should get to packing. I’ll bet her kind Rosendale neighbors will even help her move. Enthusiastically.

    1. G. Marshall

      She wouldn’t do well in Canaan either, if she’s looking for neighbors that aren’t Going to take her crap….. people there are old residents and very stuck in their ways; Millerton has gentrified quite a lot. She may do better there. Rhinebeck would certainly be a better fit.

    1. The Oklahoma Kid

      Towns have supervisors, not “mayors”?
      In the life of Riley, instead of filling the town council seat with him, they put in more of the same?
      The Village of Rosendale was dissolved in 1976, and all of its records lost in a flood. Maybe you can lose Vance Riley’s papers too, secede from the Town, make a village municipality again, and have Riley as the mayor. Lot’s of grant money for the right village, which I can only think of one of anyways.

  10. Firebird

    Long live Rosendale shabbiness! It’s why I wouldn’t live anywhere else (and yes, my property is notoriously, gloriously shabby).

  11. Rosendale Cycling

    Good read, but you sound like a petulant child.

    Rosendale is far from the dump you portray it as. It’s true there coexists here a fine mix of people who may or may not have a perfect lawn, a perfect life, or a perfect financial situation. But most people here are happy, wonderful people unless you rub them the wrong way.

    It sounds like you have your financials in order, perhaps you might even be bragging a little in your “article”. I will say, that most of us take what the average job pays around here which is not a lot. So stop trying to gentrify us.
    We love Rosendale and people like you belong in a cookie cutter development… in your McMansion that has as much character as you do. There you can have your pretentious closed gate policies and your Richie-rich heads shoved up each other’s behinds, just how you like it. They exist around here. Why don’t you move to one?

    Rosendale is not a dump. Rotting pile of wood? Sounds like either firewood or nature taking its course on land that’s not yours. The town’s officers and staff are here for everyone, not just your beckoning call. And did you really just admit publicly to reporting multiple homes in the area with your petty complaints?

    I bet your neighbors love you. You must be a real doll.

    Do the Town’s people a favor and go back to whatever city you’re from.. with all your money and criticism. Nobody likes you.

    You do sound like a difficult resident to deal with. You sound like you don’t mind your business. The people you’re badgering may not have their pinky out, sipping tea with you riding their equally high horse, but I can assure you.. They pay the same tax man you do.

    And say the people you have such a problem with doing what they can with their budget, and you impose.. what? Threats and fees on people who are (clearly) struggling? Oh, it’s ok. I’m sure they can afford your fascist onslaught.

    You strike me like one of those people who would view a house, realize that it’s next to a pizza place. Then call the town because you don’t like that it smells like pizza. At some point, you need to accept your accountability of choosing to move next to places that “needs fixing up”. If you wanted to fix up the neighborhood, try buying the fixer-upper first. And if you got a good deal on your house because it was next to a fixer-upper then you should realize your cost savings and your life’s decisions and leave people alone. People live here.

    My only advice is if you care that much about the homes people live in. Buy them out at a good rate if they will accept. If they hate you, they probably won’t. Also, consider their moving expenses. If their home really isn’t worth much in the state it’s in.. where will they go when you low ball them? Do you even have a clue what’s like to live hand to mouth like a normal person?

    I recall a historical person who wanted to change everything for neighbors… was it Einstein? No, that couldn’t be it… oh yeah. It was Hitler.

    1. Karen Angel

      What a passive-aggressive tour de force!

      I’m not interested in investing in any more Rosendale real estate for the reasons mentioned in my article. And if I were in the market for a McMansion, I wouldn’t have considered Rosendale for a millisecond. The problem is, with its deteriorating housing stock and downscale attitude, Rosendale isn’t that appealing even to mainstream buyers like me.

      As for where homeowners who can’t afford to do basic maintenance on their homes and properties might go, I think an excellent choice would be an apartment. They could put the money they’re paying in property taxes toward their rent instead, and of course, they would make money selling their homes — just not to me.

    2. Karen Angel

      Also, the idea that I’m being accused of being a rich elitist makes me laugh! Again, that is symptomatic of Rosendale’s shabby state and the efforts of those who contribute to that state to normalize it. It’s a “let’s all be happy slobs together” mentality — especially because many common code violations do not require much money at all to fix, just industriousness.

    3. Karen Angel

      The mobile-home park across the road from Riverview Drive is a good example of affordable yet orderly Rosendale housing. There are minimum standards of upkeep, and if residents don’t abide by them, they’re booted.

  12. Doug

    As a former 1 year resident of Rosendale in 1998 & 1999 I seriously considered purchasing property there after renting. I took that year looking at just about everything available under 200K in the county and around the Hudson Valley so as to get a feel for what good value was and what felt right. The feeling one gets from a property is to me every bit as important as upside market consideration. It was during this pre 9/11 era when property in Hudson Valley towns from Gardiner to Rosendale to Saugerties to Woodstock and to the east like Livingston, Tivoli, Hudson, Catskill and Athens were very affordable–all seemingly just waiting for rehab to take hold. BAck then a decent old house on a couple of acres with good bones needing cosmetic reno could be had for $85-$140K. After 9/11 many of the affordable properties were sold & rehabed but I decided against Rosendale and chose a small hamlet just north of Hudson. I like Rosendale a lot–its on the NYC busline and only 90 minutes from the port authority. But after that year living there I sensed that Rosendale was in a perpetual state of up & coming–much the same as Hudson was for 20 yrs. But Rosendale never got there. IT’s still not.

    High Falls, Kripple Bush or Stone Ridge definitley became better choices. Rosendale sadly became little more than a let down. Its a shame–good place unfortunately I think the powers that be in Rosendale want to keep it that way. People are the change they seek. Rosendale needs new blood to come in get involved & elbow out the cronies that make it a change resistant place to being an attractive place to buy property………for all the reasons Karen Angel state in her spot on essay.

    1. Karen Angel

      Sounds like we have similar viewpoints. Had I rented for a year like you rather than jumping right in to buy a place, I would have chosen New Paltz, not Rosendale (and definitely not Rhinebeck, Ms. Snarkypants above). But now I’ve put a ton of work into my place, so I’m going to see if I can outlast my more problematic neighbors.

      I think one of the major problems with neglectful homeowners is that their habits’ negative effects extend beyond their property lines. I own a well that services eight homes on my road; to date, four homeowners haven’t paid their water bill for 2019. That means, I am subsidizing their water. In addition, none of the other homeowners on the road chip in to help fix the potholes, which means I am subsidizing their road repairs. In eight years, I haven’t seen one homeowner — one of those who hasn’t paid the water bill and who at one point had more cars coming and going than anyone else on the road I pay to fix — rake his leaves; they all either blow or drop on to my property, where I either rake them or pay to have someone rake them. So, his neglectful habits directly impact me, and my bank account, in any number of ways. Maybe he can’t afford to help with the road, but is there any good reason to let your leaves drop on someone else’s property year after year without lifting a finger? In addition to never again buying a house next to ramshackle houses, I’ve learned from this experience never to buy a house on a private road unless there’s a road-maintenance agreement in place and never to share a well without a well-maintenance agreement. Grist for the mill!

  13. Zeek B. (Very Displeased Neighbor)

    Karen is a screaming, nagging, yelling mess, who’s called the cops on me like 20+ times since she’s moved in across the street. My girlfriend like’s to smoke the occasional cigarette on the porch and Karen regularly attacks us for what we do on our own property.

    If she’s on meds, then she needs to go off them. If she’s not, maybe she needs them. She’s famous with the town and the police.. because she calls them so much for the most trivial non-sense.. non-stop. Yet she constantly attacks me for not being a “normal” person. I go to work every day. I punch the clock. I maintain my house the best that I can with my paycheck.

    Karen has been the bane of my existence since she moved in. I’ve tried to co-exist with her but it’s near impossible. I even baked her a pie and the other neighbor a pie when they moved in. But it’s been a joke the whole time. She has created a war with every neighbor she could find. Over everything and anything. *SHE* is not “normal”.

    How many neighbors alone a rebutting in this article? 3 now? Isn’t obvious who the common denominator is here? Jeez, the cat’s out of the car… I mean bag now.

    Sorry, my lawnmower broke in the fall and all the landscapers were booked up. I’ll fix my fence on my own schedule and dime.. and my roof when I can afford it…. KAREN. Now leave us alone you tyrant.

    1. Karen Angel

      I may have called the police seven times, and at least three of those times were for domestic violence occurring in your driveway, with one of those times resulting in your girlfriend screaming and crying to be let back in the house. Another time you appeared to be punching your roommate in the driveway and, a third time, yelling at the top of your lungs in the middle of the night, throwing things, and throwing out your roommates, who never returned. A fourth time you were burning a pile of wood in front of my window during a burn ban in August. And yes, most people don’t smoke and yap loudly on their cell phones in front of their neighbor’s door at 11 pm at night, especially when they have a backyard. Most people don’t lay on their horns in a fit of passive-aggressive rage after the cops have come and gone. Most people don’t move in with a moving truck beeping while backing in to a private road at 2 am, like your girlfriend did. Finally, I think most people would agree I am well within my rights to call the police about these matters, and since the police come when I call, they must agree, too. For eight years, you’ve been saying you want to sell the house you inherited from your mother because the upkeep is such a burden for you (cue violins). Meanwhile, each year, the value of that house is decreasing because it’s such a mess, and along with it, the value of all the surrounding properties. As I said earlier, the problems you cause don’t stop at your property line.

      1. Zeek B. (Very Displeased Neighbor)

        Nice “Domestic Abuse” Slander. I don’t hit women. Good try.

        I may have shoved a roommate out the door because they merely spoke of violence against women, the rest of your reports are skewed at best. My roommate decided to try and cook hotdogs on a contained grill in a power outage. Not me. Nor was any girlfriend every intentionally locked out of my home. Nice geriatric memory.
        Your methods are to call the Town, The Police, The Fire Department, your lawyer, and the Pope. We know. We are all well aware. My method is to stop being polite too and keep on living in my house with less of a concern for you and your relentless babble.

        Surely you must know you are the woman I can’t stand most of all. Do I even bother to talk to you at all until you’re screaming at the top of your lungs outside of my home? Or in the event my pet goes missing? No. Most of are interactions are you accosting me with relentless requests, or complaints, or you harassing the town, so you can continue to complain about everything all the time. I mean this is what your article is about here, isn’t it? You’re crying because you didn’t get your way so you’re attempting to use your ‘craft’ to embarrass the town because you don’t have any respect for boundaries for anyone at all.
        I just assume you’re a narcissist. Because nobody matters accept for you and your skewed version of reality that’s devoid of any type of empathy for others.

        Frankly, Karen. You take the fun out of the work I do around my house and I tend to avoid the outside mainly because, well you’re there. I do in spades what I wish you could do in so much as teaspoons.. Which is ignore the bullshit and live my own life.
        I’ve fixed some parts of my property as reluctantly as possible mainly because of you and your methods. At this point, because of your actions I wish you as much grief as you have given us all here in the neighborhood. But don’t worry, I’d never stoop as low as you did. Cat prove anything can we? You make me feel ill.

        I like my other neighbors. You should see the section of fence I repaired last year. And he responded by fixing some further down the way. You know, one hand washes the other. You know, normal people stuff.

        Perhaps, since you feel the need to cry on the internet about how disheveled you think my home is. I should call the tax assessor and get my home valued down so I can save money and really help your situation out? I mean I’ve been holding off because I didn’t want to muck it up for anyone who has the resources to run away screaming from you.

        I plan on fixing my fences differently in the spring when the ground is easier to dig. But you know, for me… not for you. Because at the end of the day. It’s my property. Not yours.

        The idea of personal sovereignty is something you don’t grasp at all. And that my dear is why you have people like me and others digging their heels in and giving you zip-nada of what you want. Think of it as La Résistance.
        I’d have a hard time selling my home because it’s parked next to a bat-s*** crazy lady who’s dead mother’s money is better than my dead mother’s… apparently.

        I beep my car, because I can do that.

        I stand where I want on my property. Because I can do that.

        You harass people endlessly, by any and all means…. Apparently because you can do that.

        Things my old roommate’s did to feed themselves when we lost power… not my problem. I kicked them out remember?
        But you know since you want to bring it up.. I’ll have a fire in my legal, controlled fire pit on May 13th instead of May 15th and cook hot dogs. Because I can do that.

        6 CRR-NY 215.3 215.3 Exceptions and restricted burning.
        (b) Barbecue grills, maple sugar arches and similar outdoor cooking devices when actually used for cooking or processing food.

        (c) Small fires used for cooking and camp fires provided that only charcoal or untreated wood is used as fuel and the fire is not left unattended until extinguished.

  14. Mark Spitz

    The only consistent characteristic of Rosendale residents is that they would live in New Paltz instead if they could, but they don’t have he money. One good thing about Rosendale is that unlike the New Palrz Town/Village park and pool, the Rosendale park and pool has not be privatized. If you privatize the Rosendale pool, you can start beating New Paltz at its own game.

    1. Karen Angel

      One very marketable aspect of the road where I live is it comes with New Paltz schools but Rosendale town taxes. So, in that sense, this road has a leg up on other corners of Rosendale, and with its striking river frontage, it could be a jewel in Rosendale’s crown. Too bad it’s plagued with the issues cited above.

  15. Carl Cox

    Karen you seem to be the one person everybody hates in a small town .. telling everyone what to do with there stuff I know the type . Anyway I don’t live there but I wanted to say sorry to all the residents that have to deal with Karen..

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