Pine Hill Main Street Program
In early 2009 the Pine Hill Community Center received a small grant from the Laura Jane Musser Fund’s Rural Initiatives Program to organize and facilitate a series of meetings concerning the revitalization of Pine Hill’s historic Main Street. At the same time the Ulster County Planning Board informed our Director that they had received a grant from the Catskill Watershed Corporation to do an in-depth study of three communities in Ulster County with an eye to appropriate Main Street development. They call this program the Main Street Toolbox. Pine Hill was one of the communities they wanted to work with, along with Phoenicia and Shokan. It was obvious that the thing to do was to piggyback the two efforts.
The Pine Hill Main Street committee meets every fourth Saturday at the Community Center. Check the community calendar for the next meeting. We welcome all Pine Hill residents and stakeholders to participate. A core group of us have been meeting for close to two years.
Our goals are to identify assets, challenges and potential solutions and projects related to Main Street revitalization and appropriate economic development in Pine Hill. Some projects we can accomplish ourselves; and others require the support of our Town and state government. We want to do our part in taking responsibility for our little corner of this beautiful place.
There are lots of things to do to bring out the best in Pine Hill! We decided to take on a few projects that we could help make happen ourselves. Some were informational – we held a ‘dinners on main’ event to hear from a grocery store/café owner up the road. We did a survey of participants at the Catskill Cabaradio to learn what they’d like to see in Pine Hill. We looked at a lot of data and studies.
We decided to apply for Historic District status for Pine Hill. We held several public meetings to get feedback about properties in the community and to help residents learn about the program. We raised money to prepare the application and hired Larson Fisher to help us. The application has been submitted to the state and we’re having a potluck/presentation at the Community Center on February 21st at 6 pm.
Becoming a historic district does not create new regulations for property owners or burdens on the Town. It is a tourist attraction for many history and architectural buffs. There are tax credits available for those who decide to fix up their properties. Bovina and Roxbury are Historic Districts. We want to create a walking tour of Pine Hill based on what we learned from the application. Maybe we can link our hamlet to other Historic Districts for visitors interested in our stories?
You can find the application on this web site. Please read it and tell us what you think of it.
We’d like to see a streetscape plans for Pine Hill after completion of the Stormwater Retrofit project. We are pleased that such a project is being planned for Pine Hill as it is much needed, and we applaud the work of our Town government in bringing this project to fruition. Our hope is that, as a committee of concerned and involved citizens, we will have a chance to meet with the engineering company and to review and to offer input in the streetscape designs before they are completed.
Another outcome of these meetings is an in-depth study on rural philanthropy, taken on by one of our committee members. The study demonstrates how different rural communities have raised the necessary funds –- often from within their own borders — to complete projects that were key to their economic success, a success that was community driven rather than being driven entirely by pressures from outside.
We want you to join us. What would you like to see happen? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or suggestions.
Pine Hill’s application for historic district status can be viewed here: