ALBANY — The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) has published guidelines for local land use planning officials to help protect the historic integrity of remnants of an early 19th aqueduct that once supplied New York City drinking water.

The Community Design Guidelines to Support Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park provides recommendations to elected officials, staff, and land use and architectural review boards that oversee proposed future development near the 26-mile linear park that runs from the city of Yonkers to Cortlandt in Westchester County.

Built between 1837 and 1842, the gravity-fed aqueduct ran 41 miles to bring water from the Croton River to reservoirs in Manhattan. It remained in service until 1955.

Created in 1968, the Old Croton Aqueduct (OCA) State Historic Park — managed by the Taconic Region of the OPRHP — is an important recreation corridor and scenic trail that has drawn more than 10 million visitors this decade. Surrounded by the beauty of the Hudson River, quality schools, diverse employment opportunities, and efficient transportation access into New York City, many river towns through which the OCA passes have been — and will continue to be — under significant development pressure.

Recommendations within the document on how to make nearby development compatible with the historic park are developed from meetings with local elected officials in the communities adjacent to the trail, a detailed study of existing municipal codes, current and historic land development patterns, and professional best practice.

A public information meeting on the guidelines will be hosted online at noon Jan. 13 and at 6 p.m. Jan. 14. This meeting will be recorded and made publicly available.

During the meeting, Parks’ staff will make a presentation about the Design Guidelines and be available for a question and answer session after the presentation. Free registration in advance of the online meeting will be required in order to attend. To register, email [email protected] no later than noon Jan. 12.

Paige Barnum, AICP, Park Planner, Division of Environmental Stewardship and Planning, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Albany, New York 12238; [email protected]; 518-73-7402.

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