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October 27, 2016
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A vision for Tusten in 20 years

This aerial view of the Town of Tusten was created by Buck Moorhead Architect.
Contributed photo

The committee wants the plan to physically unify the Town of Tusten, but they also hope it will unify it in spirit and community pride. In the original RFP that led to hiring architect Moorhead, they write that it “will befit the potential of and reflect the rich character and charm of Narrowsburg,” and it “will promote and enhance the business and quality of life for the whole village area.”

As far as funding, the committee hopes to secure grant money, and says that no money will come from taxpayers.

Former town board member Andrea Reynosa has been researching grants for the project. The Narrowsburg Beautification Group (NBG) has received grants through Sullivan Renaissance, including the $25,000 Golden Feather Award in 2012, and a community development grant for $5,000. They, the town board and the design committee had a meeting and everyone agreed that it would be smart for NBG to partner on this initiative, and NBG gave $5,000 to the town to be used for the design plan.

Helen Budrock, the community planner at Sullivan Renaissance, said that their organization has supported the NBG in the past, and were excited to see them partnering with the master design planning committee. She said it will, “Get communities to think about the bigger picture.”

One of the biggest themes is to make the hamlet a pedestrian community. A national trend has shown that more and more people want pedestrian-friendly areas, where they can walk to work, the grocery store and then some. There is also a desire for more public spaces, especially in crowded cities, where small parks and plazas are popping up everywhere, like in Times Square in New York City, where parts of the streets have been closed to cars, allowing pedestrians to sit and hang out. Instead of cars fleeing the area, business boomed.

This trend has been a focus of the public discussion about community design recently; for example a May 31 New York Times article, “A Prescription for Plazas and Public Places,” discusses how the desire to be in the middle of things is one that many people understand and inherently feel. It’s why people congregate in the kitchen during a dinner party; it’s where the activity is. These ideas the committee believes can work for Tusten. They said they are taking a bottom-up approach to design something that the community wants and can enjoy for years to come.