At a Town Board work session on Monday night, officials agreed to once again get going on providing parking at the 383-acre Leon Levy Preserve in South Salem.
Plans for a parking lot to be accessed from Smith Ridge Road (Route 123) were drawn up a few years ago and went through the town approval process, but Town Supervisor Peter Parsons said Monday night that all of the approvals have since expired and the town has to start again.
“I would like to proceed with an identical plan to save time and money,” he said. “I would like your approval tonight to submit the plan to ACARC (Architectural and Community Appearance Review Council). We can then go on to get the needed permits from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Department of Transportation (DOT).”
Town Board members granted the approval for the submission of the plans to ACARC. Town Board member Peter DeLucia said he believed it would be a good idea to bring the parking lot project to the attention of local Scout troops. “This is a good chance for an Eagle Scout project, maybe for signage and mapping trails,” he said. “There are also opportunities for new trails near the Mill River that have never been exploited.”
The town has recently completed a cleanup of the sprawling preserve that included moving many pieces of large debris. Officials hope that an accessible parking lot that is large enough for cars, buses and horse trailers will encourage use of the open space.
Mr. Parsons also appeared before the Planning Board last week to discuss the plan for a gravel parking lot at the preserve. A public hearing before the Planning Board was set for Tuesday, March 12.