Chris Day Column

After being approached by the Pearl River Chamber of Commerce and many residents asking for help in revitalizing the downtown of our largest hamlet of Pearl River, the Orangetown Town Board voted to authorize as study by the Pace Law School Land Use Law Center and Kevin Dwarka LLC. The study was multifaceted, to include analysis of Pearl River’s demographics, real estate market, economy, and other data, as well as a substantial public outreach component, with online surveys, interactive boards in community centers, and a large public input meeting.

After several months of work, the study concluded that, “Pearl River is well positioned physically and economically for some kind of infill redevelopment, especially in and around the station area” which “should keep in line with the current character of the community.” With the study’s results in hand, in the coming weeks the Town Board and I will be reviewing them in more detail and will begin to develop a plan on how to move forward based on its recommendations.

As we work hard to find new and unique ways to improve business and overall viability throughout Orangetown, the completion of this study is the first step towards a stronger, more vibrant downtown Pearl River. We are very excited about the study’s findings and will work with our Chambers of Commerce, residents, and other key local organizations to develop a plan keeps Pearl River the type of place we all love while boosting our local economy and providing a way to allow more of our kids to remain in town when they first enter the workforce – thereby ensuring we can remain suburban and diverse for the foreseeable future.

The people of Pearl River and Orangetown should expect a well thought out plan, tackling every aspect of the study’s recommendations in a stepwise fashion, and applying for available grant opportunities to help offset the cost of any improvements that might require significant investment.   We will ensure that the public is continually tied into this process and that the end result is beneficial to all.

I urge residents to read the report, which can be found in its entirety on the Town of Orangetown website at www.orangetown.com/pearl-river-downtown-revitalization-project-update