This 2021 Plan establishes a Vision for the Town of Shawangunk and its two primary hamlets, Wallkill and Walker Valley. The 2021 Comprehensive Plan is a Town-wide Plan guiding the overall Vision for the entire Town, the Wallkill Hamlet Plan, and the Walker Valley Hamlet Plan. The following major themes are reflected across the Plan:
1. RESPONSIBLE ECONOMIC GROWTH AND REVITALIZATION will be directed to the Town’s hamlets which are the hubs of social, governmental, commercial and civic activity, and their revitalization is essential to the Town’s vision.
2. ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP is essential to protecting, enhancing and celebrating the Town’s unique beauty and setting.
3. SMART GROWTH building patterns will ensure that new development fits into the Town’s rural and hamlet landscapes.
4. FLEXIBILITY, CREATIVITY AND A COLLABORATIVE SPIRIT will allow the Town to capitalize on the opportunities that arise as the Town pursues the recommendations of this Plan.
Shawangunk is an expansively beautiful, rural Town at the southern edge of Ulster County, extending from the forests of Shawangunk Ridge to the Wallkill River agricultural valley. Its excellent quality of life is evidenced by the generations of families that continue to call it home. The Town has actively protected and preserved its agricultural heritage, its significant natural and historic resources, and its historic hamlet centers. Over the next 10 years, the Town will promote economic development opportunities and activities that support tourism, meet the commercial needs of its residents, and encourage value-added businesses that preserve agricultural operations. The Town will revitalize and reactivate the Wallkill hamlet and its riverfront and make it an inviting social, commercial, recreational, and residential community that will draw in Town residents and visitors alike. It will promote and reconnect the Wallkill hamlet to its riverfront and will encourage infill mixed use development which is consistent with the historic hamlet development patterns in the Hudson Valley. The Town will protect and promote the Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway corridor and its smaller historic hamlets as locations for businesses which are consistent with the Vision for the Town. New development will be attractive and context sensitive and will blend in and be consistent with the beauty of the Shawangunk landscape.
1. Protect the Town’s unique historic heritage and the resources which contribute to it.
2. Protect and preserve the significant natural resources in the Town, especially Shawangunk Ridge, the Shawangunk Kill and Wallkill River corridors.
3. Promote the hamlet of Wallkill as the Town’s governmental, social, educational, commercial and residential center of Shawangunk.
4. Promote an orderly pattern of residential development within the Town with higher density attractive residential neighborhoods focused within the hamlets, and low density residential and clustered development located outside the hamlets where sewer and/or water infrastructure is not readily available to support higher densities.
5. Strengthen the Town’s tax ratable base and actively promote and support a diverse economy which captures the commercial demand generated by local residents, the tourism demand of visitors to the Shawangunk Mountains region and introduces new value-added businesses which support the Town’s agricultural base.
6. Create and identify an interconnected system of open space which preserves significant ecological habitats and agricultural lands in the Town and create/identify trails within this system by which visitors can be connected to the Town’s historic hamlets, recreational areas, heritage sites, and tourist attractions.
7. Promote high-quality, environmentally sensitive buildings and patterns.