Assemblyman Mike Lawler joined Orangetown Supervisor Teresa M. Kenny on Tuesday morning to announce that a land trust bill for Orangetown, championed by Lawler, has passed the New York State Assembly.
The bill, A.5373, would establish a community preservation fund for Orangetown, allowing the town to purchase and preserve open spaces and parks. A land trust would also enable Orangetown to protect at-risk properties and historic buildings by taking them off the real-estate market.
“Assembly Bill 5373 will help the town of Orangetown preserve it’s beautiful open spaces, from the pristine parks in Pearl River to the serene Hudson River shoreline,” said Lawler. “It would give the town the tools it needs to prevent irresponsible development. It’s something residents of the town want and something our town officials have advocated for.”
Establishing a land trust was a key promise of Kenny’s campaign two years ago. She expressed gratitude that Lawler is helping her deliver on it. The bill has “overwhelming support” from residents, said Kenny, who believes that a land trust is imperative to “preserving what makes Orangetown special.”
Lawler’s bill was the last proposal passed by the state assembly before adjourning on June 10, and will have to wait until 2022 to be reviewed by the state senate. Kenny and Lawler have called on Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, Lawler’s counterpart in the senate, to advocate for the bill.
According to Lawler, Reichlin-Melnick has expressed some concerns that establishing a trust could mean raising taxes, but Lawler remained optimistic that his bill would have enough popular support to carry the vote.
“I think at the end of the day, this is something that is vital for the town,” said Lawler. “It’s something I do think we can get passed.”