Providing a Plan to Protect the Rural Character of Pleasant Valley

Town of Pleasant Valley Open Space and Farmland Plan

Project

Town of Pleasant Valley Open Space and Farmland Plan

Location

Pleasant Valley, NY

Client

Town of Pleasant Valley

AKRF prepared an Open Space and Farmland Plan for the Town of Pleasant Valley, NY, in collaboration with Taconic Site Design & Landscape Architecture. The project team assisted the Town’s Open Space Committee in shaping a future for residents that balances open space preservation with development needs and provides the Town with a guide for responsible growth and planning.

The Town of Pleasant Valley recognized the need to protect the rural character of their community and enhance the quality of life for residents through the conservation of important resources. Throughout the planning process, the Committee reviewed the Town’s biodiversity, critical habitats, ground water recharge, carbon absorption and other ecological functions; and created a comprehensive inventory of their natural resources, including: farmland, scenic viewsheds, cultural resources, wildlife habitat, woodlands, steep slopes and ridgelines, and recreational parks and trails.

The Pleasant Valley Open Space and Farmland Protection Plan provides a road map to maximize efficient use of these resources, while describing ways to guide development, support farming activities and preserve the viability of agricultural lands.

Action items in the Plan include:

  • Mapping significant areas of biodiversity
  • Consideration of funding for conservation and preservation through a wide variety of programs
  • Minimizing the loss of contiguous open space resources and working farms
  • Forming an Agriculture and Farmland Committee
  • Encouraging farmers to apply for various relevant financial assistance programs
  • Pursuing marketing initiatives to support small- and large-scale operations

The Plan details a wide range of local, state, and federal grant programs to help make these measures economically sustainable, including descriptions of various types of tax incentives and conservation easement options that are available to individuals and municipalities to advance open space and farmland conservation goals.

The project team was honored by the New York Planning Federation with the 2014 Henry Heissenbuttel Award for excellence in land use planning, while the Dutchess County Legislature bestowed an official commendation to the Town of Pleasant Valley for the adoption of the plan. The project was also featured as the cover story in the Sept/Oct 2014 issue of Talk of the Towns & Topics, published by the Association of Towns of the State of New York.

Pleasant Valley illustration

Sustainability Overview