WARWICK - ”What impressed me most was the scrutiny under which we were selected,” said Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton. “This was not an easy achievement.” On Thursday, Oct 13, the New York State Association of Realtors honored the Town of Warwick when it presented its first NYSAR award for Smart Growth Excellence. The award was in recognition of Warwick’s efforts to incorporate the principles of smart growth into its comprehensive plan. That plan had established a farmland protection program and put into place innovative zoning techniques. “New York’s Realtors recognize the many benefits of utilizing a smart growth approach to community development and the positive impact it has on our communities,” said NYSAR President Gary P. Kenline. “It is our hope that by recognizing the outstanding efforts of communities like Warwick we will create awareness of the benefits of smart growth and encourage everyone to embrace this approach to development.” Applicants for the prestigious NYSAR award were required to be public sector entities within New York State. And according to the association, Warwick was selected by a panel of individuals from organizations and public institutions that have a vested interest and working knowledge of smart growth. During the well-attended meeting at Warwick’s Town Hall, Charles M. Staro, chief executive officer of NYSAR, praised the Town of Warwick for aggressively implementing smart growth concepts. Sweeton, in turn, thanked the association for the award. “Our comprehensive plan,” he said, “is a win for everyone from our residents to developers and the future members of our community. It allows us to preserve what Warwick s residents love about this area - its rural character and our agricultural heritage - while allowing development now and in the future. “This plan,” he added, “was a community-wide effort, and on behalf of the residents of Warwick, I am pleased to accept this award in recognition of our efforts.” During his remarks, Sweeton also thanked everyone else involved with this achievement including the Warwick Council and Town staff, Mayor Michael Newhard, Leyland Alliance, LLC and the local Realtor community among others. “Real estate values have been rising,” he said. “People understand our code and want to come here for this protection and the quality of our homes and developments.” The State Association of Realtors is a not-for-profit trade organization representing more than 61,000 of New York State’s real estate professionals.