IV. B Community Character/Visual Resources 1. Existing ConditionsVisual Character of Ulster CountyUlster County’s visual character is defined by its natural features, notably the CatskillMountains in the northwest portion of the county, the Shawangunk Ridge in the south andthe Hudson River along the county’s eastern border. The county contains the highest pointin the Catskills – Slide Mountain in Shandaken – as well as a portion of Catskill Park, a700,000-acre state park required by the state constitution to be kept “forever wild.” TheShawangunk Ridge, an extension of the Appalachians that extends roughly 250 milesfrom northern New Jersey to the Catskills, contains an unusual diversity of vegetation suchas rare dwarf pine trees. The Shawangunks contain Mohonk Preserve, Minnewaska StatePark Preserve and Sam’s Point Preserve, together containing at least 100 miles of hikingtrails and a number of rock climbing areas. The county also maintains two public parks:Ulster Landing Park in Kingston, with more than 3,000 feet on frontage on the HudsonRiver, and New Paltz Park, with more than 150 acres and a 50-meter pool.Ulster County contains two tributaries of the Hudson River. Rondout Creek flows southfrom the eastern Catskills into the Rondout Reservoir on the Ulster/Sullivan County line inwestern Wawarsing, and then into a valley between the Catskills and the Shawangunks,where it goes over the High Falls, eventually joining the Hudson at Kingston. Wallkill Riverruns from northeastern New Jersey through Orange County into Ulster County where itdrains into the Rondout near Rosendale.Visual Character of WawarsingLike Ulster County, the Town of Wawarsing’s visual character reflects its natural features.The Shawangunk Ridge forms the southeastern boundary of the town and is both animportant element of the area’s water supply and a location of numerous plant andanimal habitats. Section IV-C, Flora and Fauna, will discuss these habitats in greaterdetail. The Shawangunks’ five lakes, six waterfalls and more than 100 miles of roads andtrails also provide the area with recreational opportunities and scenic views. InMAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS IV.B-1October 2006
IV.B. Community Character/VisualWawarsing, much of the ridge is owned by land stewardship organizations such as theOpen Space Institute, the Nature Conservancy and the Palisades Interstate ParksCommission.Wawarsing also contains a number of water resources. The town is located largely in theRondout drainage basin, with a small portion of the town, south of the topmost ridges ofthe Shawangunks, draining into the Wallkill River basin. Rondout Creek flows east fromthe Rondout Reservoir to Napanoch and then north toward Kerhonkson and the Town ofRochester. Other water features in Wawarsing include Sandburg Creek, Brandy Creek,Shawangunk Creek, Wallkill River, South Gully, North Gully and Shingle Gully (DraftComprehensive Plan, 1969 Development Plan).Visual Character of CragsmoorCragsmoor’s position atop the Shawangunk Ridge, with its unusual geologic features andhabitats, affords the hamlet distinct character and scenic views. The uplifted whiteconglomerate of the ridge forms a distinguishing pale cap that is easily recognizable froma distance. Conglomerate is a type of rock made up of fragments – in this case roundquartz pebbles – that are held together by a cement-like binder. This composition resultsin a visually unique and durable nonporous stone that is resistant to erosion andabrasion. Because of this caprock, the Shawangunks contain unusual environments suchas a pitch pine barrens; a dwarf pine barrens; mountain wetlands with swamps, bogs andlakes; and cave habitats with alpine characteristics. The resistant properties of the stonealso rendered it an important source of millstones during the 19th century, and in the 20thcentury the stone’s dense texture made it a highly desirable building material that can beseen in many Cragsmoor homes. Section IV-K, Cultural Resources, will further discuss thearea’s architectural features.The most distinctive characteristic of the Shawangunks is the broad and raggedescarpment along most of the east face of the range, exemplified by Sam’s Point, aprominent lookout point of the Shawangunks about a quarter-mile east of the center ofCragsmoor. This precipice and the rest of the southeastern ridge line were created whenglaciers tore away the eastern face of the mountain. The resulting formation includesMAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS IV.B-2October 2006
IV.B. Community Character/Visualcrevices, caves and rugged cliffs with sharp drops that present uninterrupted viewsoverlooking the Wallkill and Hudson Valleys below. The spot has been a popular touristdestination since the mid-19th century and remains so today. Sam’s Point Preserveencompasses 5,400 acres and was formed in 1997 by the Open Space Institute. TheNature Conservancy currently manages the preserve, which also includes a recentlyopened 3,000-square-foot conservation center.Sam’s Point Preserve also features a series of ice caves, which foster a unique ecologicalenvironment (discussed further in Section IV.C, Flora and Fauna) and were designated aNational Natural Landmark in 1967. Shortly after the initial designation, the Village ofEllenville leased most of its mountain holdings to Ice Caves Mountain Inc., whichimproved the access to the caves. The work included widening one of the natural faultcracks in the stone and the trails over which thousands of paying visitors hike eachsummer. The Open Space Institute purchased the caves in 1997 as part of the formationof Sam’s Point Preserve.Bear Hill, at the southwest end of Cragsmoor, is the southernmost major precipice of theShawangunks. The overlook has sweeping views of the nearby Wallkill, Hudson andRondout Valleys, as well as extended vistas of the Catskills to the southwest and thesouthern Shawangunks as they extend into New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Bear Hill hashistorically been, and remains, a favorite recreational and painting spot for the summercommunity of Cragsmoor. In 1978, the Bear Hill Preserve was created with the purchaseof 50 acres by the Cragsmoor community and deeded to the Cragsmoor Free Library; it ismanaged today by the Cragsmoor Association.Another striking feature of the Shawangunks is the series of five “sky lakes” found nearthe ridge. The lakes – from north to south: Mohonk Lake, Lake Minnewaska, LakeAwosting, Mud Pond and Lake Maratanza – all have extremely clear water, mostly as aresult of low nutrient levels and limited runoff basins. Maratanza, the southernmost ofthese lakes and the second largest, was formed by glacial plowing and is contained in arelatively shallow basin. This lake is found on a plateau-like area and, along with Sam’sPoint to the south, has been an important tourist attraction for at least 100 years.MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS IV.B-3October 2006
IV.B. Community Character/VisualCragsmoor Historic DistrictThe Cragsmoor Historic District, an area listed on the National Register of Historic Places,was designated in 1996 and covers approximately 362 acres and contains 210contributing features on 107 properties. Approximately 19.6 acres, or 21.5% of theproposed project site is located within the Cragsmoor Historic District. This part of thehistoric district is located in the northwest portion of the project site. It is important to notethat there are no contributing features of the historic district on the portion shared with theproposed project site. The viewshed analysis which follows addresses views of theproposed project from the five (5) view locations listed below, and from the historic districtwhere applicable under each of the five (5) view locations. Hence, the historic district viewimpacts are identified and discussed principally within the Old Inn Road study under IV.B2b(3), below. The portions of the proposed project within the historic district and whichwill be viewable from the historic district are identified and discussed. The viewableportions of the proposed development include the Teacher’s House and the MilarepaCenter. Although the Guest Teacher’s House and the Naropa Center are proposed to beconstructed on project property within the boundaries of the historic district, as discussed,they will not be visible from the off-site portions of the historic district. Further, allremaining portions of the proposed project will not be visible from the Cragsmoor HistoricDistrict. The character of the Cragsmoor Historic District will be discussed in further detailin Section IV.K, Cultural Resources (historical and archeological).MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS IV.B-4October 2006
IV.B. Community Character/Visual 2. Anticipated ImpactsViews to and from the SiteThis section contains an evaluation of visual impacts from identified viewpoints, using theapplicable DEC standards. A full copy of the DEC standards for assessing and mitigatingvisual impacts may be found in Appendix N. a. Areas previously identified as areas with views to and from the property in the DEIS scope were as follows: • Bear Hill Nature Preserve (1) • Cragsmoor Road (2) • Old Inn Road (3) • Sam’s Point Preserve (4) • Lake Maratanza has been added during the course of this study and is referenced as area (5).Figure IV.B-1 provides an overall topographic site map of the project area.MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS IV.B-5October 2006
MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-1: TOPOGRAPHIC SITE MAP OF PROJECT AREAWAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
IV.B. Community Character/Visual b. Following is a narrative description of the attached graphic view shed analysis describing the views; map, profile and photography analysis; and study results. (1) Bear Hill (See Map #1.0, Figure IV.B-2: Bear Hill Photo Key.) Bear Hill lies to the west of the project site and rises to a height elevation of 1,950 feet (approximately 200 feet above the average Mahamudra project site elevation). Map 1.0, shown in Figure IV.B-2, indicates photographic view directions for the photograph numbers indicated (PH-1, PH-2, etc.). Upon completion of a visual inspection of the public viewing area at the top of Bear Hill, it was apparent that all public viewing directions face southwest (see Figure IV.B-4, photographs 3 and 4, which document these views). The project site lies to the southeast. To view the project site, visitors would be required to leave the trail and climb over rock outcroppings to arrive at locations from where the project site may be viewed (see Figure IV.B-3, photographs 1 and 2). There are signs which warn visitors not to leave the trail and climb on these rocks. Result: With the Bear Hill public viewing areas clearly facing in directions other than toward the project site, the proposed project imposes no impacts.MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS IV.B-7October 2006
MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-2: MAP #1.0, BEAR HILL PHOTO KEYWAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
PH-1 Site of Milarepa Center Site of Milarepa Center View from non-publicly accessible side Site of Teacher’s House PH-2 View from non-publicly accessible sideMAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-3: PHOTOGRAPHS 1 AND 2WAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
PH-3 View from publicly accessible side PH-4 View from publicly accessible sideMAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-4: PHOTOGRAPHS 3 AND 4 -WAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-5: PHOTOGRAPH 5WAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
IV.B. Community Character/Visual (2) Cragsmoor Road (See Map #2.0, Figure IV.B-6: Welcome House Parking Lot/Cragsmoor Road View Shed including keyed location and view direction of photographs.) Cragsmoor road borders the eastern portion of the project site for approximately 1,900 feet (see Map #2.0 in Figure IV.B-6: Welcome House Parking Lot/Cragsmoor Road View Shed). No development is proposed along Cragsmoor Road, except at the proposed curb cut (see Figure IV.B- 8, photograph 31, at the utility pole). The closest proposed developments to Cragsmoor Road are the Welcome House (set back a minimum of 90 feet from Cragsmoor Road), and at the parking lot (set back a minimum of 150 feet from Cragsmoor Road). In Figure IV.B-7, photograph 7 is taken at the proposed curb cut looking back into the proposed Welcome House site. Photograph 8 of Figure IV.B-7 is looking from the Welcome House site back toward Cragsmoor Road. Photographs 32 and 33 of Figure IV.B-8 look toward the proposed parking lot from Cragsmoor Road. These photographs indicate the density of existing tree cover (leaf off), which will remain preserved as part of the site plan approval, obscuring views to both the Welcome House and the parking lot area. Views from Cragsmoor Road to the Welcome House will be substantially more obscured than for any existing structure currently on Cragsmoor Road. The proposed 2,500- gross-square-foot Welcome House building will also be in keeping with the scale and size of existing structures along Cragsmoor Road. In addition, neither the Welcome House nor the parking area will be visible from the Cragsmoor Historic District, which is at the northwest end of the project site. The parking area and adjacent detention basins will require clearing of some existing tree cover, while other portions of the proposed parking detention basin area land are already open and cleared. Result: Neither the proposed Welcome House nor the proposed property entrance impose any visual impact greater than that already existing along this part of Cragsmoor Road in relation to the other existing buildings andMAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS IV.B-12October 2006
IV.B. Community Character/Visual driveway entrances. Any visual appearance of the Welcome House from Cragsmoor Road will be substantially less than for other existing structures due to the proposed greater building setback from the street and the existing tree cover within the setback area, which will be preserved as part of the site plan approval. The architecture will be designed in a contextual character utilizing architectural materials found within the Cragsmoor community and historic district (see Section IV.K, Cultural Resources (historical and archeological)). Additional buffer and interior landscaping will be provided within the parking area (see proposed mitigation). Except for the above, no other Hermitage-related project development is proposed along Cragsmoor Road, hence preserving the existing natural visual character.MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS IV.B-13October 2006
MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-6: MAP #2.0, WELCOME HOUSE PARKING LOT/CRAGSMOOR ROAD VIEW SHEDWAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
PH-6 PH-7 PH-8MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-7: PHOTOGRAPHS 6, 7, AND 8WAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
PH-31 PH-32 PH-33MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-8: PHOTOGRAPHS 31, 32, AND 33WAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
IV.B. Community Character/Visual (3) Old Inn Road (see Map #3.0, Figure IV.B-9: Teacher’s House/Old Inn Road View Shed.) Old Inn Road partially borders the northern boundary of the project site. This portion of the site is partially located within the Cragsmoor Historic District, which overlaps a part of the proposed project site (see Section IV.K for further discussion of the historic district). There are two adjacent neighboring lots which contain contributing residential structures exceeding 50 years in age. The proposed Teacher’s House, Guest Teacher’s House and Naropa Center are proposed to be constructed on undeveloped property within the Cragsmoor Historic District, while the Milarepa Center is proposed to be constructed on undeveloped property outside the district o Teacher’s House (See Map #3.0, Figure IV.B-9: Teachers House/Old Inn Road View Shed, including keyed location and view direction of photographs). The Teacher’s House site is proposed between the two neighboring contributing structures mentioned above: a 1920 gambrel-roofed residential structure to the west and a 1905 vintage residential structure to the east. Figure IV.B-13, Photographs 14 and 15 shows the 1920 and 1905 residences, respectively. A non-contributing structure sits across Old Inn Road to the north, as shown in Figure IV.B-10, Photograph 9. o Milarepa Center (See Map #3.1, Figure IV.B-15: Milarepa/Old Inn Road View Shed, including keyed location and view direction of photographs. The proposed Milarepa Center site is not within the historic district but sits directly adjacent. Views of the Milarepa Center will be substantially obscured from the contributing 1920 and 1905 structures within the historic district boundaries by existing tree cover, but the Center will be partially visible from an existing residential structure not within the historic district (see Figure IV.B-16, Photograph 17, and Figure IV.B-17,MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS IV.B-17October 2006
IV.B. Community Character/Visual Photographs 18 and 19). The Map #3.1 profile in Figure IV.B-15 indicates a distance of approximately 420 feet to the proposed Milarepa site, and 1,270 feet to the proposed Bodhisattva Dharma Center site from the existing residential structure shown in Figure IV.B-16, Photograph 17. From this residential structure, an elevation drop of approximately 32 feet exists to the Milarepa site, and a 95-foot drop exists to the Bodhisattva Dharma Center site. Figure IV.B-18, Photographs 20, 21, 22 and 23 as keyed on Figure IV.B-15, Map #3.1 indicate the dense tree cover looking toward Old Inn Road and sequentially rotating to view toward the direction of Cragsmoor Road. o Guest Teacher’s House and Naropa Center (See Map #3.0, Figure IV.B-9: Teachers House/Old Inn Road View Shed, including keyed location and view direction of photographs). The proposed Guest Teacher’s House and Naropa Center will be sited behind existing tree cover to be preserved, and will not present any visual impact to or from the historic district (See Figure IV.B-14, Photograph 34). The Map #3.0 profile in Figure IV.B-9 indicates a distance of approximately 1,750 feet and an elevation drop of approximately 190 feet from the house shown in photograph 9 of Figure IV.B-10 to the proposed Naropa site, further eliminating any possible view of the proposed Naropa structures. Result: No view impediments will be created (by any proposed construction) from any existing structure on Old Inn Road (see Map #3.0 in Figure IV.B-9 for photograph key location and direction and Photograph 10 of Figure IV.B-10; see Map #3.1 in Figure IV.B-15 for photograph key location and direction and Photograph 18 of Figure IV.B-17). The proposed construction within and adjacent to the Cragsmoor Historic District will not impact the visual and aesthetic resource presented by the historic district.MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS IV.B-18October 2006
MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-9: MAP #3.0, TEACHER’S HOUSE/OLD INN ROAD VIEW SHEDWAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
PH-9 PH-10 PH-11MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-10: PHOTOGRAPHS 9,10, AND 11WAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-11: PHOTOGRAPH 12WAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-12: PHOTOGRAPH 13WAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
PH-14 PH-15MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-13: PHOTOGRAPHS 14 AND 15WAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-14: PHOTOGRAPH 34WAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-15: MAP #3.1, MILAREPA/OLD INN ROAD VIEW SHEDWAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
PH-16 PH-17MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-16: PHOTOGRAPHS 16 AND 17WAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
Milarepa site Milarepa site PH-18 PH-19MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-17: PHOTOGRAPHS 18 AND 19WAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
PH-20 PH-21 PH-22 PH-23MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-18: PHOTOGRAPHS 20, 21, 22, AND 23WAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
IV.B. Community Character/Visual (4) Sam’s Point (See Map # 4.0, Figure IV.B-19: Sam’s Point/Teacher’s House View Shed and Map # 4.1, Figure IV.B-20: Bodhisattva Dharma Center/Sam’s Point View Shed including keyed location and view direction of photographs). The Sam’s Point Preserve Public Viewing Area lies far to the east of the project site. The Map #4.0 profile shown in Figure IV.B-19 indicates a horizontal distance separation of approximately 9,750 feet and an elevation drop of approximately 435 feet from the Sam’s Point Public Viewing area to the Teacher’s House site. The profile sight line indicates that any view of the project site (including the Teacher’s House site) from Sam’s Point is totally obscured by Losees Hill. The Map #4.1 profile (shown in Figure IV.B-20) between the Sam’s Point Public viewing area and the Bodhisattva Dharma Center (the tallest proposed building) indicates a horizontal distance separation of approximately 9,500 feet and an elevation drop of approximately 540 feet. The profile sight line indicates that any view of the project site, and in particular the Bodhisattva Dharma Center dome, will be obscured by Losees hill. Result: There are no visual impacts to Sam’s Point Preserve from any proposed buildings on the project site.MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS IV.B-29October 2006
MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-19: MAP #4.0, SAM’S POINT/TEACHER’S HOUSE VIEW SHEDWAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-20: MAP #4.1, DHARMA CENTER/SAM’S POINT VIEW SHEDWAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-21: PHOTOGRAPH 24WAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
IV.B. Community Character/Visual (5) Lake Maratanza (See Map #5.0, Figure IV.B-22: Teachers House/Lake Maratanza View Shed and Map # 5.1, Figure IV.B-26: Dharma Center/Lake Maratanza View Shed including keyed location and view direction of photographs). Lake Maratanza is located approximately three-fourths of a mile north of the Sam’s Point Preserve Public Viewing Area. Inspection of the trail system on the west side of the hill leading up to the lake reveals fairly dense tree cover consisting of approximately 5- to 6-foot-high pine evergreens. No clearings or public viewing areas were observed along the trail system, and no view of the project site was established. The lake is surrounded on the west side by existing communication towers (see Figure IV.B-23, Photograph 25). Further visual investigations were conducted from Old Inn Road to determine if these towers were visible. It was determined that the towers are first visible from the location of Old Inn Road indicated on Map #5.0, Photograph 26 (see Figure IV.B-22 and Figure IV.B-24). No views of the lakeside communication towers were visible from the project site. This is due in part to obstruction by Losees Hill (see Figure IV.B-22, Map # 5.0, and Figure IV.B-24, Photographs 27 and 28). Although the sight line indicated on the profile indicates a potential view, it is obvious (from the visual inspection conducted and documented from Old Inn Road) that the existing tree cover (leaf off) fully obscures any views. Map #5.1 (shown in Figure IV.B-26) documents the same conditions regarding the Bodhisattva Dharma Center site view from Lake Maratanza. These two locations are separated by a horizontal distance of 10,750 feet and an elevation drop of approximately 550 feet. Again, the visual inspection reveals no view of the lake towers from this building site. Result: There are no visual impacts to Lake Maratanza from any proposed buildings on the project site.MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS IV.B-33October 2006
MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-22: MAP #5.0, TEACHER’S HOUSE/LAKE MARATANZA VIEW SHEDWAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-23: PHOTOGRAPH 25WAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
PH-26 PH-27 PH-28MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-24: PHOTOGRAPHS 26, 27, AND 28WAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
PH-29 PH-30MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-25: PHOTOGRAPHS 29 AND 30WAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS FIGURE IV.B-26: MAP #5.1, DHARMA CENTER/LAKE MARATANZA - --- --WAWARSING, NY SOURCE: CERNIGLIA ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, P.C.
IV.B. Community Character/Visual Impacts From Proposed Lighting: Project site lighting will be low keyed, eliminating hot spots, glare and lumen overflow onto adjacent properties. This approach will reflect the proposed functional use of the site (worship through quiet meditation). Hence, lighting will be provided by low landscape and site walk fixtures, bollards and other low profile fixtures designed to shroud and direct light downward, with specific controls limiting light spread and throw. Result: No visual impacts from proposed lighting are anticipated. In addition, fixtures will provide light in conformance with the requirements of the Town of Wawarsing Zoning Ordinance should such requirements exceed those described above. Impact on Cragsmoor Historic District Letters were sent to the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, requesting comments on any impact to the visual character or views that the proposed project would have on the Cragsmoor Historic District. A response was received from SHPO, indicating that it cannot comment on the proposed project’s impact on the historic district and believes the DEIS should include the plans, view shed analysis and other information necessary to make a formal opinion of the proposed project. A copy of this correspondence is found in Appendix C. The DEIS, which will be circulated to SHPO, contains the analysis requested. To date, no response from the National Trust for Historic Preservation has been received. 3. Proposed MitigationMinimal impacts have been identified for Cragsmoor Road (the parking area) and OldInn Road (proposed construction in or adjacent to the Cragsmoor Historic District).Regarding Cragsmoor Road and the proposed parking area, new landscaping will beprovided throughout the proposed parking area within landscape islands located to limitthe number of uninterrupted parking spaces to the limits given in the Wawarsing ZoningMAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS IV.B-39October 2006
IV.B. Community Character/VisualOrdinance, and in no case allowing more than 10 consecutive spaces. Lighting will meetthe requirements discussed above. In addition, a landscape buffer will be provided tofurther screen the parking area from Cragsmoor Road. See Figures III-6 and III-7, for thelandscaping plan and landscape buffer area plan.Regarding Old Inn Road, although the existing tree and shrub cover between theproperties along Old Inn Road and the Milarepa Center provides significant landscapebuffering, additional landscape buffering will be provided within the 50-foot side yardsetback between the north side of the Milarepa Center at and beyond the privatemeditation buildings and the northerly property line. This buffering is not only intended toprovide further screening of views from the neighboring properties, but to create neededprivacy for the Milarepa Center use as well. The applicant further proposes that allproposed construction within or adjacent to the Cragsmoor Historic District will require acontextual and compatible architectural design to be reviewed and approved by thePlanning Board as part of the Special Permit/Site Plan review and approval process.Further, this approach is intended to be applied to all proposed construction, except forthe Bodhisattva Dharma Center, which will be designed as a more traditional Buddhiststyle building. As indicated above, the Bodhisattva Dharma Center’s proposed location isin the middle of the project site and cannot be seen from any of the identified view areas.Please see Section IV.K, Cultural Resources (historical and archeological) for furtherdiscussion regarding architectural design.As demonstrated above, any potential impacts to the community/visual character of theHamlet of Cragsmoor and the Cragsmoor Historic District occurring as a result of theproposed project will be fully mitigated through appropriate landscaping and landscapebuffering, and the requirement of compatible designs that relate spatially andarchitecturally to the existing collection of buildings located throughout the CragsmoorHistoric District. Any special permit and site plan approvals will incorporate these designstandards, and the requirements for landscaping and buffering. These obligations willaccordingly be binding on the applicant and enforceable by law by the Town. Thesemeasures are sufficient to assure that there will not be any significant adverse impacts onvisual character of the area. No impacts have been discovered which suggest that aMAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS IV.B-40October 2006
IV.B. Community Character/Visualconservation easement is either necessary or appropriate to mitigate the visual impactsdisclosed in the DEIS analysis. This is a privately owned site, and the conditions of specialpermit and site plan approval are sufficient to impose a binding requirement for theaffirmative design and landscaping measures, based upon the applicant’s proposal to bebound by such standards and the clear representations in the DEIS and the applicationdrawings. There is no innate quality of conservation easements that renders them an apttechnique to effectuate accomplishment of affirmative obligations of architectural designor landscape screening. The ability of the Town to impose the buffering and designstandards as binding obligations of any approval are better suited to assure fulfillment ofthis affirmative obligation. The Town has full power to enforce its own site plans andspecial permits.MAHAMUDRA BUDDHIST HERMITAGE DEIS IV.B-41October 2006