Rail Trail visitors could potentially see the addition of small commercial stores along the multi-use trails.
In discussions amongst the Town of Lloyd Planning Board, an idea was proposed by board member Dominic Martorana, said Town of Lloyd Planning Board Chairman Scott Saso.
“I personally thought it was the perfect time to give this project the board’s attention,” he said. “We’ll be forming a smaller subcommittee to get the ball rolling.”
According to Saso, the “zoning of parcels surrounding the Rail Trail” will be added to in order to make “overlay zones” that would allow for commercial uses that would not be allowed without the overlay zones.
“Our focus will be on areas within walking distance from the Rail Trail to the Hamlet of Highland,” Saso said.
The creation of overlay zones could lead to a number of small venues along the trail. Future SUNY New Paltz students who visit the Rail Trail could potentially stop for an ice cream cone, a cup of coffee or take a rest at one of the small shops.
Saso even mentioned the possibility of other venues such as an artist gallery or a bike shop.
“We haven’t gotten to that part of the overlay restrictions, so right now its an open slate,” he said.
Village of New Paltz Mayor Terry Dungan said he was unaware of the possibilities the town of Lloyd Planning Board had been discussing, but understands the incentive for the board to work on such a project.
With the future linking of various local trails, Dungan said, the Town of Lloyd could capitalize on the opening of commercial stores such as the ones under discussion.
“They’re looking at this whole development as a major boom for their economy,” he said.
Although the idea is still in its early stages, Saso is hopeful.
“It’s just another reason for people to come,” he said. “Hopefully, all of this will result in more tourist dollars.”