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Illegal use of Mt Beacon Memorial Drive (access road)

Since this post was closed to replies I thought it might be helpful to start a new and continued discussion. I watched about a dozen 4x4s ride up the access road about 10 minutes ago, and am baffled at why this illegal activity can't be curbed by a simple gate. The previous discussion evolved into a conversation about creating a 4x4 friendly park as well as starting a volunteer group of 4x4 riders to help with emergencies on the mountain. Both of those topics are valid but steer the conversation away from the primary issue. In my opinion the issue is that cars and 4x4s that illegally utilize the Mt Beacon access road harm the mountain park, encourage littering by allowing people to bring up more waste than someone on foot, endanger visitors on the foot paths, encourage illegal activities like underage drinking, etc. As 4x4s speed past I wonder if they are even street legal.

The mayor said he would have a meeting on the topic with the Police Chief, Park Rangers, and Scenic Hudson, but there has been no follow up so far. This would be a great place to keep the public updated on the progress made in that meeting.

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How's this for a possible solution, or a way to possibly make it slow down: Take photos of the offenders and post them to Facebook and other social media, with captions such as "seen illegally driving on Mt. Beacon at (time) on (date)".  And if you don't know they are there illegally, just post "seen driving on Mt. Beacon at (time) and (date)".

Nice idea, and it's been recommended here before, but there are a few reasons why that might not work.

* It's usually the same people going up the mountain. They wear helmets and are unashamed. They probably cannot be shamed.

* If you live in the area and regularly take photos it will be clear where you are taking the photos from, exposing yourself to revenge.

* You may be exposing yourself to direct revenge while taking the photos, if they see you doing it.

* These people are openly breaking the law and getting away with it. Sometimes with implied police immunity. Why would they care about their picture on Facebook?

Gates aren't ideal and have been tried without success.

What is left? Enforcement of the city's traffic laws that prohibit unlicensed vehicles on public streets.

But don't let me stop anyone from photographing and shaming these offenders.

Guernsey is now attempting to pave the mountain road for access to her place since she is running a spa and building a larger residence to be used as a hotel.  She is running a business and having photo shoots as well as renting her place as a wedding venue.  She does not have a permit to do this but the town of Fishkill is turning a blind eye.

This should probably be started as a new thread, but I was unable to find any zoning changes or permits provided in the City of Fishkill in last 12 months for this project. Due to her location on the mountain, shouldn't there also be environmental impact surveys completed as well?

Also, I can't seem to find it online right now but several years ago I read that when she originally built on the side of Mt Beacon residents were quite upset and there was some sort of accord reached between the City of Beacon and City of Fishkill stating that future construction on the mountain visible to residents would need to be reviewed by CoB. I see no evidence of this in CoB planning board and council meetings in the last 12 months.

Do we really have a person spending lots of money to build huge structures on Mt Beacon without any planning board or zoning approval? Which would imply that it is being built without permits, too.

penelope hedges said:

Guernsey is now attempting to pave the mountain road for access to her place since she is running a spa and building a larger residence to be used as a hotel.  She is running a business and having photo shoots as well as renting her place as a wedding venue.  She does not have a permit to do this but the town of Fishkill is turning a blind eye.

There is no Mount Beacon Memorial Drive.  I own the road and it is an easement that has been abused by many who consider it their public playground.  No cars should be on that road except by persons who have an easement.  It is posted by the city with fines to be leavied but of course, that never happens.  My family has been in court over this for over half a century and the beat goes on.  I would love to see a solution and would love to hear more about the illegal building going forward with a spa and a hotel above me.. Pete Seeger was a guest here many times and fought the good fight with my parents but money talks and there seems to be alot of excuses being made for bad behavior.

I just went through a big hullabaloo behind my place about a public access trail getting graveled over.

http://beaconcitizen.com/profiles/blogs/conversation-with-my-neighb...

There were lawyers on both sides and a number of planning board meetings over a few months, with lots neighbors showing up to complain.

It was a secondary issue to the approval of building lots (this is off South Avenue), but if you could get many meetings and a number of angry neighbors on my side of beacon over a public access road, why not on your side? You get a letter in the mail from the planning board if an issue concerning property near you comes up in the near future, you don't even have to spread the word (though you should of course on a wider scale).

It seems to me this woman used a sleazy loophole to build on the mountain (the property being in Fishkill). But the access road is still in Beacon. Thus, Beacon can deny her the right to pave it, or even gravel it. If enough neighbors show up and the rationale for denial is solid. And the rationale seems to me to be: the mountain should not be developed. That's Beacon's policy. So let's keep our policy.

The fact that someone with a sleazy cheat made one exception in the next town over does not change our commitment to keep the mountain clear of development on our side. So she gets a washed out trail, she shouldn't even be allowed to deposit gravel. It shouldn't be for vehicles, only bikes and hikers, right?

Then let her and her visitors park below and walk up there from now on.

Thanks for your response, and I appreciate your concern.  The problem being that people don't want to look at development on the mountain, but I am paying the tax and insurance and liability.  The New York state parks does not have the money.  Where does t leave us?  Paying for Beaconites to have a great view of an undeveloped mountain?  Think about what this is costing us and the aggravation of the mountain road coupled with that. The answer is to have Beacon buy the land and set it aside or Scenic Hudson, otherwise it will be sold to someone else. Years ago a boy was killed riding an ATV on the mountain, and we were sued for his death.  Not a simple solution and to all those who say the land should not be developed I ask for another solution to the problem and welcome suggestions.Good to hear from all.  PS I did not sell to Guernsey, my mother did and regretted it to her dying day.

penelope: i don't understand. why are you responsible for a road that everyone uses? if it is zoned public access i don't know why that means you and you alone have to maintain something everyone uses. either it's public and government is responsible, or it is yours and you have the right to tell people to stay off



Ben Royce said:

penelope: i don't understand. why are you responsible for a road that everyone uses? if it is zoned public access i don't know why that means you and you alone have to maintain something everyone uses. either it's public and government is responsible, or it is yours and you have the right to tell people to stay off

Please understand that the road to the reservoir is private property owned by myself and Scenic Hudson..  There is an easement granted to owners of property who must pass over my land.  It is posted at the road that trespassers will be fined.  You have nailed the problem in that the road is being abused and used illegally.  The case was tried in Supreme court 70 years ago.  The Mayor and Scenic Hudson are aware of the problem but the mountain needs enforcing.  Welcome to the reality off people who do what they want in your back yard. There is a gate but it was vandalised many times and the owner above me refuses to lock it.  

Nothing like a nice, quiet hike up the mountain, only to be nearly run over by a 4x4, or to just have the silence shattered by the gas guzzling jeeps and other vehicles.

I recently moved here and noticed the same thing. After some investigating I was a little taken back when I found out there was an event venue there. http://www.lambshill.com/#!/HOME
Just curious after reading all the previous comments how this happens.



Steve Knowles said:

Nothing like a nice, quiet hike up the mountain, only to be nearly run over by a 4x4, or to just have the silence shattered by the gas guzzling jeeps and other vehicles.

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