To the Editor:
My proposal to avoid the kind of development controversies that are happening in Chester and elsewhere in the Hudson Valley would be for Orange County or New York State to introduce new initiatives to promote, encourage, and make affordable agriculture and agritourism in areas that have significant acreage where there was once or currently is farmland or forest to prevent these lands from being lost to development pressure.
Most people who would be very interested in working for farmland operations such as organic farming, U-pick fruits and vegetables, equestrian activities, hops farms, or orchards for the popular cider industry can’t possibly afford the land as it is currently zoned. If the development rights were changed for farming, it would be more affordable for entrepreneurs in these fields. These aforementioned farms would certainly increase tourism and agri-business in the Hudson valley benefiting all.
Let’s make an investment for the future of the Hudson Valley and save its beauty rather than paving it over and developing it.