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Environmental Goals

  • Protect sensitive components of our environment
  • Maintain the rural character of the community
  • Improve air quality

Where's the Balance Between Protecting the Environment and Development?

Photo by Theresa Naske, some rights reserved


A healthy tension will always exist between development and protecting the environment. The decisions a community makes about how to balance the two has repercussions for our health and well being, our tax rate, our rights as landowners, and the very character of our community.

The CAC has focused on the environmental issues that challenge us. The Comprehensive Plan Committee has incorporated the work of the CAC into this document.

Open Space and Rural Character Deserve Protection -- How?
When the CAC developed the Open Space Plan, the general consensus of the Hurley citizens was to maintain the rural character of the community. Residents expressed concern that over--development would change Hurley and its culture. They do not want to see Hurley become a victim of urban sprawl and want to maintain the rural atmosphere, peace and quiet of this uniquely residential community.

Many individual comments echoed the same themes -- maintain the open spaces, including the farmland, which afford scenic views. Maintain scenic overlook areas on the Hurley Ridge, West Hurley, Ohayo Mt. and Tonche Mountain.

Photo by Theresa Naske, all rights reserved, used with permission

In addition there is considerable community interest in adequate public recreational spaces and accessible open land.

After much discussion the CAC endorses the recommendations in the Open Space Plan prepared by Dan Schuster and Associates and the two water resources study completed for the town.

In 2003, during the public hearing s on the Open Space Plan, residents identified water quality and quantity as their primary concern. We have devoted an entire section to this topic.

Air Quality
The mid-Hudson Valley continues to have poor air quality. In April 2006 the American Lung Association reported poor grades on air pollution in the Mid-Hudson Valley in their “State of the Air 2006.” Ulster County received a grade of C. Several counties around us received F’s. Almost 25,000 people in the county suffer from asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema.

Burn regulations prove to be one of the most controversial areas of the plan. The state has extensive burn regulations in place and additional local regulations may be difficult to enforce. However, we have chosen to recommend bans on burn barrels and burning leaves. We’ve also recommended a ban on any fire that interferes with a neighbor’s life.

We make these recommendations because smoke is a significant contributor to our poor air quality and a particular contributor to health problems of residents who live in close proximity to those who burn.

Environmental Recommendations

See relevant pages: