Red Hook to use sustainability policy for land use evaluations

Daily Freeman-6 months before

The commitment was discussed during a video conference meeting Monday, with Supervisor Robert McKeon saying the Audubon International Sustainable Communities Program is intended to assess the environmental impacts of new projects.

“It’s designed to position a local government ... as a demonstrated leader on sustainability while simultaneously working with the community’s businesses, schools, residents and stakeholders to foster a citizen-driven process of planning, decision making and action resulting in concrete positive results.”

Audubon International last year a...reed to provide $4,500 in assistance to help the town coordinate stakeholder meetings, set goals for land use regulations, define measurable outcomes, and create timelines for developing a master plan.

“The program is designed to jump start the educational process,” Audubon officials wrote. “Through demonstration projects and outreach, residents will learn about the state of the community and the importance of making changes towards becoming more sustainable.”

McKeon said the stakeholders would come primarily from the independent community support organization Red Hook Together.

“That group has been meeting ... for several years,” he said. “Representatives from ... the villages, the libraries, the schools, and the (Chamber of Commerce) make up Red Hook Together.”

McKeon said the board needs to appoint a coordinator for meetings that will evaluate what areas of concern should be addressed and issues that the municipality is already handling successfully. Among town programs and policies reviewed will be work done by panels that have already been established.

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