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Housing Goals

  • Maintain Hurley's rural character while addressing the need for more variety in housing stock and protecting water quality and quantity
  • Ensure that the code allows for alternatives to single family dwellings like condo’s, townhouses, senior citizen housing, cluster development
[This remains a proposed plan until the Town Board approves it. ]

The Ulster County Planning Department reports a decline in housing affordability in the county that makes it increasingly difficult for many of our senior citizens and young families to remain in town.

Most of our children cannot afford to buy ‘starter homes’ here. Many of our seniors fear that increases in taxes and re-valuation of property will force them to sell.

The cost of real estate is quickly pricing many local residents out of the market.

Factors driving demand include:

  • Lack of development opportunities to the south causing exorbitant increases in the cost of houses driving families further north in their search
  • The first wave of baby boomers reaching retirement age looking for smaller homes
  • The migration of service and office jobs north from New York City into Westchester County, which is bringing commuters to the Hudson Valley
  • A growing population of telecommuters and weekenders.
  • The appeal of real estate as a desirable investment, spurred by low interest rates.
This table from the Ulster County Planning Department shows the impact of the escalating real estate market on local residents. 
Ulster County Housing Update
Affordability Comparison
Household Income 
Percent of homes on the market a household could afford to purchase
At 50% of median 17.7% 8.3%
At 80% of median 45.1% 18.1%
At 100% of median 63.5% 28.2%
At 120% of median 78.4% 43.9%
Source: Ulster County Planning Department

Our Housing Goals for Hurley

We value living in a community that encompasses a diverse population and want to foster a wide range of affordable options like accessible apartments and townhouses, two, three and four unit buildings, and accessory dwelling units (often known as mother-in-law apartments). We recommend that, most often, those options be integrated with other development rather than isolated in dedicated senior citizen or ‘affordable housing’ sites.

Existing housing stock in the Town consists primarily of single family residences. Current zoning was designed to support single family residences. With careful investigation, the Committee feels that other conservation development alternatives, such as town houses, or cluster housing can protect open space and increase developer options without significantly altering the rural nature of the Town or jeopardizing the environment.

We particularly encourage development of zoning code that facilitates Accessory Dwelling Units. These units, often known as mother-in-law apartments, can be developed within single family homes, as additions to single family homes, by converting outbuildings, garages and barns. by constructing new outbuildings, and by design in new construction. Many communities require a license for ADU’s and review them on change of ownership and license expiration.

Several planning tools exist that can contribute to accomplishing our community goals while protecting landowner rights to develop their property. The participants in the planning workshops should investigate the benefits of each of these tools and develop zoning, site plan review, and design guidelines to best accomplish our goals.

For example:

Housing Recommendations

  • Update residential zoning codes to encourage environmentally sensitive development techniques that will contribute to our goals of full spectrum housing for an age- and income-diverse community. Provide developer/landowner incentives where appropriate.
  • Require that planned-residential developments include a percentage of housing dedicated to current moderate and low income Hurley residents.
  • Evaluate large lots for locations suitable for alternative forms of housing
  • Review residential density zoning on Ohayo Mountain in response to water scarcity there.
  • Protect against future development of NYC DEP lands acquired for watershed protection.