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Mediation Tools

Written by: Kerry Hutcherson, Kristen McElduff, Daniel Pennessi, Kory Salomone, and Stephanie Talbert

Local newspapers often report on conflicts over the development and preservation of land. Typically, the debate about conservation and growth is characterized by hostility, adversarial behavior, and sometimes, violence. New developments have been bombed and vandalized by environmentalists and developers have sued opponent for their efforts to block projects. Almost always tempers flare at public hearings and little civic or productive dialogue is heard. The reason these conflicts are driving communities apart and producing unsatisfactory results is that they are being handled improperly. Conflicts that are managed properly can spur innovation, produce satisfactory solutions, and bring communities together. Techniques exist to improve the land use decision-making process and have been used for the last twenty years across the nation. This program is designed to help community leaders access dispute resolution services to manage these conflicts in a more productive way. The goal of this program is to encourage local governments to use alternatives to the traditional, adversarial decision-making system through publications, training and practice.

Land Use Law Center Publications

*These publications were written by members of our Land Use Law Center.

 

  • Land Use Mediation: A Local Leader's Guide, by Sean F. Nolon, Ed. White Planis: Land Use Law Center, 2003.

  • Land Use Conflicts: Before Going to Court, Consider Using Mediators to Negotiate, by Sean F. Nolon, New York Law Journal, October 30, 2001.

  • How Military Strategy Argues for the Increased Use of Mediators in Land Use Approvals, by Sean F. Nolon.

  • Addressing Local Environmental and Land Use Controversies Through Mediation, by John R. Nolon, New York Law Journal, 8/18/99.

  • Open Meetings Land Use Mediation and the Public's Right to Know, by John R. Nolon, New York Law Journal, 2/19/03.

  • Smart Growth: Finding Mediation Tools for Regional Land Use Disputes, by John R. Nolon, New York Law Journal, 12/20/00.

  • Land Use Law Center Annual Report 2000. White Plains: Land Use Law Center, 2003.

 

Land Use Center Library

Articles

Land Use Mediation:

  • “Mediation as a Tool in Local Environmental and Land Use Controversies,” by John R. Nolon. New York Law Journal, August 18, 1999, Wednesday, REAL ESTATE UPDATE; Environmental Law; Pg. 5

  • “Mediating land use disputes in the United States: pros and cons (Record in progress),” by Lawrence Susskind, Mieke van der Wansem, and Armand Ciccareli. Environments, June, 2003, v.31(2) 2003 pg 39-58.

  • “Mediations in the Public Interest: Land Use Examples,” by Edith M. Netter Zoning and Planning Law Report, March 1995 Vol. 18, No. 3.

  • “Using Mediation to Resolve Land Use Disputes,” by Edith M. Netter. Zoning and Planning Law Report, April 1992 Vol. 15, No. 4.

  • "Mediation: A New Way to Resolve Land Use Conflicts,” by Edith M. Netter. Planning Commissioners Journal, March/ April 1992.

  • Building Consensus,” by Lawrence Susskind. Boston Review.

  • “Consensus Building as Role Playing and Bricolage: Toward a Theory of Collaborative Planning,” by Judith E. Innes and David E. Booher. Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 65, No. 1, Winter 1999.

  • “Consensus Building and Complex Adaptive Systems: A Framework for Evaluating Collaborative Planning,” Judith E. Innes and David E. Booher. Journal of the American Planning Association, Autumn 1999, Vol. 65, No. 4, Pg. 412.

  • “Environmental & Land Use Law,” Dix, Martin R., Richard P. Lee, and Alicia M. Santana. FL Bar Journal, November 1995.

  • “Important Options for Municipal Government,” Travers, Michael K. Colorado Lawyer, June 1995.

Other Relevant Articles:

  • “Using Mediation to Resolve Land Use Disputes,” Edith M. Netter, Zoning and Planning Law Report, April, 1992.

  • “Local Government Use of Mediation for Resolution of Public Disputes,” Barbara McAdoo and Larry Bakken, The Urban Lawyer, Spring 1990.

  • “Land Use Mediation for Planners,” Joseph Tomain, Mediation Quarterly, Winter 1989.

  • Pace Environmental Law Review, 2002, Symposium Edition “What’s Really Needed to Effectuate Resource Protection in Communities,” by Jayne E. Daly.

  • New York Law Journal, November 26, 2003, Wednesday, NEWS; Pg. 5, ZONING AND LAND USE PLANNING “Another Approach: Future Is Bright for Alternative Dispute Resolutions,” By John M. Armentano.

  • The Journal News (Westchester County, NY), December 11, 2003 Thursday, OPINION; Pg. 10B, “A promising step,” Staff If not the "road map to peace" that would guarantee an end to the municipal border wars ignited by development proposals, an agreement between the Town of Greenburgh and Village of Ardsley shows that neighboring communities can at least open up constructive lines of communication.

Books

Mediating in the Land Use Context

  • Wondolleck, Julia M., and Steven L. Yaffe. Making Collaboration Work; Lessons from Innovation in Natural Resource Management. Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2000.

  • Duany, Andres, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck. Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream. Union Square West: North Point Press, 2000.

  • Sitarz, Daniel. Agenda 21: The Earth Summit Strategy to Save Our Planet. Boulder: Earth Press, 1993.

  • Cisneros, Henry G. Interwoven Destinies: Cities and the Nation. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1993. (Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)

  • Rusk, David. Inside Game Outside Game, Winning Strategies for Saving Urban America. The Century Foundation, 1999.

  • Forester, John. The Deliberate Practitioner, Encouraging Participatory Planning Processes. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2001.

  • Makower, Joel. Beyond the Bottom Line; Putting Social Responsibility to Work for Your business and the World. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

  • Linowes, Robert R., and Don T. Allensworth. The Politics of Land-Use Law; Developers vs. Citizens, groups in the Courts. New York: Praeger Publishers, Inc., 1996.

Mediating Generally

  • Swartz, Roger M. The Skilled Facilitator; Practical Wisdom for Developing Effective Groups. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc., Publishers, 1994.

  • Peck, M.D., M. Scott. The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace. New York: Touchstone, Simon and Schuster, 1987.

  • Covey, Steven R. Principle-Centered Leadership. New York: Fireside, Simon and Schuster, 1990.

  • Heifetz, Ronald A. Leadership without Easy Answers. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1994.

  • Brain, Michael K. Practical Politics: Five Principles for a Community that Works. Chicago: University of IL Press, 1999.

  • Green, Judith M. Deep Democracy: Community, Diversity, and Transformation. Lanham, M.D.: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 1999.

  • Isaacs, William. Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together: A Pioneering Approach to Communicating in Business and in Life. New York: Currency, Doubleday, 1999.

  • Yankelovich, Daniel. The Magic of Dialogue: Transforming Conflict into Cooperation. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999.

  • Griffin, Em. A First Look at Communication Theory. McGraw-Hill, 2000.

  • Gillette, Jonathan, and Marion McCollom. Groups in Context, A New Perspective on Group Dynamics. Lanham: University Press of America, 1995.

  • Schelling, Thomas C. The Strategy of Conflict. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1960.

  • Raiffa, Howard. The Art and Science of Negotiation; How to Resolve Conflicts and Get the Best out of Bargaining. Cambridge: The Belknap Press, 1982.

  • Phillips, Barbara Ashley. The Mediation Field Guide, Transcending Litigation and Resolving Conflicts in Your Business or Organization. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2001.

  • Mnookin, Robert H., and Lawrence E. Susskind. Negotiating on Behalf of Others, Advice to Lawyers, Business Executives, Sports Agents, Diplomats, Politicians, and Everybody Else. London” Sage Publications, Inc., 1999.

  • Fisher, Roger, and William Ury. Getting to Yes; Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. London: Penguin Books, 1981.

  • Ury, William. Getting Past No, Negotiating Your Way from Confrontation to Cooperation. New York: Bantam Books, 1981.

  • Fisher, Roger. Beyond Machiavelli; Tools for Coping with Conflict. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994.

  • Ury, William. The Third Side. New York: Penguin Press, 1999.

  • Senge, Peter. The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook, Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization. New York: Doubleday, 1994.

  • Peters, Thomas J., and Robert H. Waterman. In Search of Excellence; Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies. New York: Harper and Row Publishers, Inc., 1982.

  • Hammer, Michael, and James Champy. Reengineering the Corporation; A Manifesto for Business Revolution. New York: Harper Business, 1993.

  • Wheeler, Tom. Leadership Lessons from the Civil War. New York: Doubleday, 1999.

  • Kouzes, James M., and Barry Z. Posner. The Leadership Challenge. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1995.

  • Beckhard, Richard, Marshall Goldsmith, and Frances Hesselbein. The Drucker Foundation; The Leader of the Future. New York: 1996.

  • Conner, Daryl R. Managing at the Speed of Change, How Resilient Managers Succeed and Prosper Where Others Fail. New York: Villiard Books, 1992.

  • Champey, James. Reengineering Management. New York: 1995.

  • Kheel, Theodore W. The Keys to Conflict Resolution: Proven Methods of Resolving Disputes Voluntarily. New York: 1999.

  • Bennis, Warren and Burt Nanus. Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge. New York: 1985.

  • Karp, H.B. The Change Leader: Using a Gestalt Approach with Work Groups. California: 1996.

  • Crosby, Philip. The Absolutes of Leadership. Johannesburg: 1996.

En Espanol

  • Ingouville, Francisco. Del Mismo lado: 90 cuentos y also de teoria para llevarse major con la gente. Buenos Aires: Grupo Editorial Grijalbo Mondadori, 2001.

Case and Reference Text

  • Yarn, Douglas H., Dictionary of Conflict Resolution. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc., Publishers, 1999.

  • Riskin, Leonard L., and James E. Westbrook. Dispute Resolution and Lawyers, 2nd Edition. St. Paul: West Group, 1997.

  • Murray, John S., Alan Scott Rau, and Edward F. Sherman. Processes of Dispute Resolution, The Role of Lawyers, 2nd Edition. Westbury: The Foundation Press, Inc., 1996.

  • Brunet, Edward, and Charles B. Craver. Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Advocate’s Perspective, Cases and Materials. Michie, 1997.

  • Lewicki, Roy J., and Joseph A. Litterer. Negotiation: Readings, Exercises, and Cases. Homewood: Richard Erwin, Inc., 1985.

  • Trachte-Huber, Wendy E. Alternative Dispute Resolution; Strategies For Law and Business. Columbus: Anderson Publishing Co., 1996.

  • Cole, Sarah R., Nancy H. Rogers, and Craig A. McEwan. Mediation: Law, Policy & Practice, 2d Edition. West Group, 1999.

  • Brunet, Edward, and Charles B. Craver. Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Advocate’s Perspective, Teacher’s Manual. Miche, 1997.

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Advocate’s Perspective Cases and Materials, 2d. Matthew Bender & Company, Inc. Lexis, 2001.

  • Alfini, James J., Sharon B. Press, Jean R. Sternlight, and Joseph V. Stulberg. Mediation Theory and Practice. Lexis, 2001.

  • Brunet, Edward, and Charles B. Craver. Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Advocate’s Perspective Cases and Materials, 2d, Teacher’s Manual. Lexis, 2001.

  • Alfini, James J., Sharon B. Press, Jean R. Sternlight, and Joseph B. Stulberg. Mediation Theory and Practice; Teacher’s Manual. Lexis, 2001.

Mediation Guides

  • Constructive Engagement Resource Guide: Practical Advice for Dialogue Among Facilities, Workers, Communities and Regulators, U.S. EPA, 1999.

  • The Reengineering Revolution; A Handbook, Hammer, Michael and Stanton, Steven A.; 1995 Harper Collins, NY, NY.

  • Group Relations Reader 2, Colman, Arthur D. and Geller, Marvin H., 1995 A.K. Rice Institute DC.

Periodicals

  • Conflict Resolution Quarterly, Volumes 19-21, Sponsored by the Association for Conflict Resolution, 2001-03.

  • Negotiation; Decision-Making and Communications Strategies that Deliver Results; Volume 7, January-March 2004; Harvard Business School Publishing

Other

  • Roberts, Elizabeth, and Elias Amidon. Earth Prayers from around the World: 365 prayers, poems, and invocations fro honoring the earth. New York: Harper Collins, 1991.

  • Thompson, William Irwin. Imaginary Landscape, Making Worlds of Myth and Science. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989.

  • Thompson, William Irwin. Gaia 2, Emergence: The New Science of Becoming. New York: Lindisfarne Press, 1991.

  • Sale, Kirkpatrick. The Green Revolution; The American Environmental Movement 1962-1992. Canada: HarperCollins, 1993.

  • Greenstein, George. The Symbiotic Universe: Life and the Cosmos in Unity. New York: William Morrow and Co., 1988.

  • Gore, Al. Earth In The Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit. New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1992.

  • Harrell, Adele V., and George E. Peterson. Drugs, Crime, and Social Isolation, Barriers to Urban Opportunity. Washington, D.C.: The Urban Institute Press, 1992.

  • Zu, Sun. The Art of War. New York: Bantam, 1983.

  • Wells, Stuart. From Sage to Artisan, The Nine Roles of the Value-Driven Leader. Palo Alto: Davies-Black Publishing, 1991.

 

New York State Technical Resources

 

New York State Dispute Resolution Association, Inc.

The New York State Dispute Resolution Association, Inc. (NYSDRA) is a not-for-profit membership organization committed to the promotion of quality conflict management and peaceful dispute resolution. Through leadership, education, promotion of professional standards and training and development of innovative statewide programs, NYSDRA provides opportunities for people, communities, organizations and businesses to effectively respond to conflict.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Office of Hearings and Mediation Services

The Office of Hearings and Mediation Services (OHMS) is an independent office within the Department that reports directly to the Commissioner. We conduct hearings related to the Department's permitting and enforcement activities under the Environmental Conservation Law. We also help to resolve disputes by employing less formal means, such as mediation. We also decide Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) appeals with respect to records held or maintained in OHMS. We are not affiliated with any of the Department's regulatory programs, field personnel or the Office of the General Counsel.

Mediation Center of Dutchess County

Services include: Multi-party facilitation for organizational conflict transformation; Conflict transformation workshops for youth and adults; and Mediation training and consultation for schools, colleges, and organizations.

Congregations Linked In Urban Strategy To Effect Renewal (CLUSTER)

The mission of "Congregations Linked in Urban Strategy to Effect Renewal" (CLUSTER) is to provide services and programs that will assist individuals and families in Yonkers and other parts of Westchester County, to build a better future for themselves and their communities

New York State Unified Court System

New York State Community Dispute Resolution Centers are listed by county.

 

Agencies and Organizations

 

Consensus Building Institute, Inc.

CBI improves the way leaders, advocates, experts and communities make public and organizational decisions. The organization works with government agencies, community groups, businesses, advocacy organizations, researchers and educators. Core services include Conflict Assessment, Consensus Building, Training, Capacity Building and Organizational Development, and Research and Evaluation.

Policy Consensus Initiative

Policy Consensus Initiative is a national nonprofit program working with leaders at the state level–governors, legislators, attorneys general, state agencies, and others–to establish and strengthen the use of collaborative practices in states to bring about more effective governance. PCI provides a variety of services including Consultation and Technical Assistance, Information Resources, and Education and Training Program and Materials.

U.S. Department of Agriculture: Forest Service Cooperative Forestry

The Cooperative Forestry program works with States, private landowners, and other partners to promote healthy forests. Its mission is to “connect people to resources , ideas, and one another, so they can care for forests and sustain their communities.”

The Loka Institute

The Loka Institute is a research and advocacy group that strives to promote community-initiated and community-driven policies in order to shift public attention and financial resources to grassroots priorities. The organization maintains a network of research and grassroots organizations conducting community-based research.

Sustainable Communities Network

SCN is an advocacy group that seeks to “ink citizens to resources and one another to create healthy, vital, sustainable communities.” Their website is a great place for community members, city officials, and planners to access tools and resources for community planning. The website offers a starter kit that will aid communities in the decision-making process.

Meridian Institute

Meridian Institute seeks to solve problems and resolve conflicts arising from the integration of environmental, health, economic, and social issues. Their professionals offer Multi-Party Problem Solving, Strategy and Assessment Planning, Leadership in the Practice of Collaboration.

Center for Public Resources Institute for Dispute Resolution

CPR's mission is to spearhead innovation and promote excellence in public and private dispute resolution, and to serve as a resource for avoidance, management and resolution of business-related and other disputes. CPR provides highly qualified neutrals to resolve disputes and is also a leading proponent of self-administered Alternative Dispute Resolution.

National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation

The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation is a network of thousands of innovators who bring people together across divides to tackle today’s toughest challenges. NCDD serves as a gathering place, a resource clearinghouse, a news source, and a facilitative leader for this extraordinary community.

National Association For Community Mediation

The purpose of the National Association for Community Mediation is to support the maintenance and growth of community-based mediation programs and processes, to present a compelling voice in appropriate policy-making, legislative, professional, and other arenas, and to encourage the development and sharing of resources for these efforts.

The Perspectives Group

The Perspectives Group offers IAP2 training.

Internet Law Library: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, & Mediation

The Internet Law Library contains thousands of links to legal issues related to arbitration and dispute resolution.

 

Grants and Financial Assistance

  • CaRDI
    • Mission Statement
      • CaRDI works to enhance life quality and social and personal well being for the people of New York State. CaRDI coordinates research, extension and teaching in four broad areas: Economic Vitality, Environmental Management, Human Services, and Local Governance & Leadership.
  • The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
    • 10.435: State Mediation Grants:
      • Objective: To assist States in establishing and administering mediation programs and services for agricultural producers, creditors of producers, and persons directly affected by actions of the Department of Agriculture.
      • Uses and Use Restrictions: Grants are to be used for the operation and administration of mediation program which has been certified by the Administrator f the Farm Service Agency.
  • Contact your local legislature regarding past payment plans and possible assistance.

 

Related Links

 

Statutes and Cases

Statutes - Mediation

The Municipal Home Rule Law § 10(1)(ii)(a)(14) authorizes a city, town, or village to adopt and amend local laws relating to “[t]he powers granted to it in the statute of local governments.”

Section 10(6) of the Statute of Local Governments empowers municipalities to “adopt, amend, and repeal zoning regulations.”

The Municipal Home Rule Law § 10(1)(ii)(a)(11) gives cities, towns, and villages authority to adopt local laws for “the protection and enhancement of [their] physical and visual environment.”

The Municipal Home Rule Law § 10(1)(i) gives cities, towns, and villages authority to adopt local laws not inconsistent with provisions of the constitution relating to their local property, affairs, or government.

To exercise its supersession authority, a town or village must follow the procedures outlined in the Municipal Home Rule Law. Section 22 requires that a local law that supersedes a state law “shall specify the chapter . . . number and year of enactment, section, subsection or subdivision, which it is intended to change or supersede.”

Statutes and Regulations - Facilitation

Town Law § 272-a (1)(e), Village Law § 7-722(1)(e), and General City Law § 28-a (2)(e) contain the policy statement of the state legislature encouraging citizen participation in comprehensive planning.

Title 6 NYCRR Part 617.8(e) mandates the participation of the public in the process of developing a scope for the environmental review of projects and actions that may have a significant impact on the environment.

Cases - Facilitation

Merson v. McNally, 90 N.Y.2d 742, 688 N.E.2d 479, 665 N.Y.S.2d 605 (1997)

The issue in that case was whether a project that, as originally proposed, involved several potentially large environmental impacts could be redesigned in the early SEQRA process to avoid negative impacts. In an unusual move, the planning board conducted a series of open meetings with the project sponsor, other involved agencies, and the public. As a direct result of the input received at these meetings, the applicant revised the project to avoid any significant negative impacts. The Court of Appeals found that the planning board had conducted an “open and deliberative process” characterized by significant “give and take.”

 

Community Profile

Bellefield Core, Hyde Park

Background:

In August 2000, the Town of Hyde Park recognized a need to enhance their unique historical locale. Hyde Park is located in an area of great cultural and historic significance. It is the gateway to the Great Estates Region of the Hudson Valley, which draws over 1.2 million visitors annually, and location of the FDR Home, Library, and Museum; Eleanor Roosevelt’s Valkill; and the Vanderbilt Mansion. Having adopted a Comprehensive Plan in 1998 that incorporates a vision for the community more in keeping with its unique historic setting, the Town recently undertook the overhaul of its zoning laws to conform to its Plan. In the midst of the process, the owner of 29 acres nearby the FDR National Historic Landmark Site marketed and contracted to sell the site for construction of a 150,000 square foot Wal-Mart super center, provoking widespread public concern. In response, the Scenic Hudson Land Trust stepped in and purchased both the 29 acres and an adjacent 15-acre parcel, relieving the immediate pressure on the community and giving it time to complete the planning process.

Process:

In the summer of 2000, the Bellefield Core Group was formed. The Bellefield Group members consist of National Park Service, Town of Hyde Park, Scenic Hudson, and the Hudson River Valley Heritage Area. The group members sought the to consider the best use of the 44 acre parcel that Scenic Hudson had saved from the fate of a big box company. The group commenced a consensus building process with the public on the future of the Bellefield Core- the historic zones site. Consensus building is a group process tool that emphasizes collaborative decision-making. In consensus building, a diverse range of participants with varying interests work together to find a mutually agreeable solution. The group invited John Nolon, Director of the Land Use Law Center at Pace Law School to serve as facilitator for regularly scheduled meetings, and brought in representatives of virtually every group in the community involved in development issues affecting the historic sites. The Bellefield Group was able to compose a problem statement that encompassed the expressed interests of all parties;

“How can we most effectively use the historic properties and nearby parcels in the Bellefield Core in order to build a sustainable economy and tax base, create a vibrant community identity, and enhance the historical integrity of the core?”

For the past four years, this Bellefield Group committee has gathered monthly or quarterly to explore ways in which to achieve the goals expressed in the problem statement. John Nolon has monitored the meetings, Scenic Hudson has worked with the co-conveners to prepare the agendas, and the National Park Service has taken meeting minutes. Ground rules, per se, were never formally established, just an agreement at the outset by all participants that the meetings would foster an open airing of ideas. Representatives from the Hudson River Greenway Council, the Department of Transportation, tourism and economic development agencies, and the City of Beacon, as well as the developer of a revitalization project in Yonkers and county planners have come to speak to the group.

Ideas emerging from the discussions were then translated into an illustrated draft concept plan having two principal objectives: consolidating the FDR Home, Library, Museum and new Visitor Center and linking it to the Valkill historic site by a conservation corridor along the historic FDR trail, and transforming the strip development along Route 9 into concentrated village-style units. The concept plan was presented to Town officials and the public at a meeting co-sponsored by the Town Council and School District. Residents who attended were encouraged to express their opinions about the process and the two principal objectives. Public response to the plan was enthusiastic, and other Hudson Valley communities have inquired about adopting this “blueprint” for capitalizing on their own heritage assets. The two sites acquired by Scenic Hudson are to be integrated into the overall concept. The National Park Service, together with Scenic Hudson and the Town, have received a grant of $1.5 million in federal funding for researching the planning of a regional information center, possibly to be located on the 29-acre parcel. The 15-acre site may be preserved as part of the FDR complex and definitive plans are being prepared by the hired consultant, BH + A.

BH+A is a Boston-based firm that was selected to develop the site plan for the regional center. “Partnership is the key word. Looking for opportunity for partnerships between stakeholders,” said a BH+A representative, is the goal of the Bellefield Group. After close to three years of communication between stakeholders, BH+A was contracted by the NPS to design the Hyde Park Regional Center. The firm began to participate in October 2003. At that time, the architect “began putting together a work plan, and listening and gathering information” from the group. To aid BH+A in the information gathering process, a firm was sub-contracted to perform a market study. The market study included focus groups consisting of community and business leaders, with the goals of encouraging “community dialogue” and providing a “positive experience” for all involved. The BH+A representative believes that, although only in its preliminary stages, the process is running smoothly and site selection will be under way by May 2004. With the variety of interests in mind, the goal is to have a place “where people get there, get out of their cars, and feel like [they’ve] arrived.” The plan is scheduled to be presented to the Bellefield Group and the public during the summer of 2004

Timeline of Events – Hyde Park Regional Center

Summer 2000:

Scenic Hudson purchases 29-acre parcel along Hudson River in Hyde Park as well as 15-acre parcel across from FDR’s home, “Springwood.”

August 2000:

Community leaders, non-profit organizations, and interested agencies gathered to discuss the common goals of protecting and promoting the historic sites in Hyde Park while stimulating the economy and preserving the quality of life in the region.

Bellefield Group (BG) formed; John Nolon from Pace University’s Land Use Law Center invited to act as moderator at BG meetings.

The Bellefield Group consists of the National Park Service, Town of Hyde Park, Scenic Hudson, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, and the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.

National Park Service (NPS) manages Hyde Park’s three Roosevelt historic sites and hopes that the Regional Center will better serve tourists who come to the area. NPS provides Marjorie Smith as the Project Manager for the Regional Center.

Town of Hyde Park is governed by a Town Council and a Town Supervisor, elected every two years. The current Town Supervisor, Yancy McArthur, represents the town’s interests. Hyde Park resident Elizabeth Waldstein-Hart serves as Partnership Project Coordinator; she ensures effective communication among the Partners and the Bellefield Group, coordinates activities, and serves as a liaison with the consulting groups.

Scenic Hudson is an environmental and land trust group formed to protect the quality of life in the Hudson River Valley. In addition to the 29-acre and 15-acre parcels acquired in 2000, Scenic Hudson plans to acquire a 335-acre property that physically links the FDR and Valkill sites via an historic carriage road.

Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area was established by Congress in 1996 to help communities preserve, protect and interpret the significant cultural and natural resources of the Hudson River Valley.

January 10, 2001:

BG presents the following problem statement to the Town Council;

“How can we most effectively use the historic properties and nearby parcels in the Bellefield Core in order to build a sustainable economy and tax base, create a vibrant community identity, and enhance the historical integrity of the core?”

May 2, 2001:

BG proposes plan to consolidate the FDR Home, Library, Museum and new Visitor Center/Transportation Center and link it to the Val-kill historic site by a conservation corridor along the historic FDR trail, transform the strip development along Route 9 into concentrated village-style units, and create Regional Center to town at public meeting.

May 14, 2001:

BG forms committees and delegates responsibilities: Infrastructure Planning, Other Lands & Opportunities, and Tourism Based Development. SEQRA process discussed.

July 2001:

Funding requests made to Federal Lands Highways Program as follows;

$1.2 M: planning & design, $1M: easement acquisition, $7.6M construction.

October 4, 2001:

Market analysis presented (prepared prior to the market analysis prepared later by BH+A).

January 11, 2002:

BG discusses and plans for Visitor Information and Transportation Center; TEA-21 proposal discussed.

April 10, 2003:

BG prepares design to present to contractors for construction.

June 2003:

Public Lands Highway Discretionary Program awards $1.3M grant for planning & design.

October 2003:

BH + A selected as consultant.

December 12, 2003:

BH+A presentation made to BG.

January 8, 2004:

Business owners and other stakeholders attend BG meeting.

March 17, 2004:

BG discusses other possible stakeholders.