Environmental concerns have been expressed over the proposed development of more than 853 acres in Dover, New York. The property is on both sides of Route 22, the location of the former Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center (HVPC), in the Wingdale section of town.
HVA, members of the public, the Town Historian, The Oblong Conservancy, Friends of Great Swamp, The Pawling Nature Reserve, the Dutchess Land Conservancy and the Naromi Land Trust, have identified areas of potential negative environmental impacts that need to be addressed by the Dover Town Board. (See HVA comments; Item 6 in the comments deals with fragmented forests. Click here for information on the importance of unfragmented forests and habitat corridors.)
The Dover Knolls application requests several zoning amendments from the Dover Town Board to allow the developer to build as proposed. The requested zoning amendments are substantial, and include changes that would allow development on steep slopes and near or in sensitive documented wildlife habitats, in and around the Great Swamp wetlands and their buffers, on adjacent farmland, and in open spaces intended for protection. This would in effect allow the developer to use the former HVPC campus to potentially build a vast sprawling subdivision, the largest in Dutchess County’s history.
In its first phase, the plan proposes commercial development of the former power plant and storehouse, 260 units of age-restricted attached residences in two- to four-unit villas or townhouses, and 15 single family homes, clustered around the golf course on the west side of Route 22. The developer has requested that the town board rezone an adjoining 83-acre parcel on the west side of Route 22 to be included in the MC (mixed use institutional conversion)district, to enable more housing to be built in conjunction with the golf course development.
The plan also proposes a mountainside residential development east of Route 22, containing an additional 590 age-restricted apartments and townhouses as well as 10 single-family, estate-style homes.