Hillsdale Since 2000
A series of Town-led initiatives in the years after 2000 have helped Hillsdale experience something of a revival – a revival that continues to expand and reshape the Town. For example, after decades of concern, Hillsdale leveraged grants to fund the development of a Hamlet Sewer District. Years in the making, the result was a twenty-first century, much admired infrastructure that has enabled new businesses to launch and continues to attract new residents and businesses to the Hamlet.
Another important catalyst was establishment of several Comprehensive Plan sub-committees. The goal was for each committee to inform the ongoing development of Hillsdale’s Comprehensive Plan. The work by these Town committees has been adopted into the Town’s Plan and continues to expand, impacting not just the Hamlet, but the entire Town. A sampling of activities:
- In 2005, five subcommittees – Scenic Overlay, Enforcement, Hamlet, Housing, and Agriculture – are created. These were eventually modified and became the Hamlet, Historic Hillsdale, Green Solutions, and Housing committees.
- In 2006, the Town signed the final order establishing Sewer District #1 in the Town of Hillsdale.
- In 2006, the first Hillsdale Farmers Market was launched in the Hamlet Park.
- In 2007, the Town amended its Zoning Law in order to create a Ridgeline Overlay District to protect scenic view-sheds.
- In 2008, the Town made an innovative agreement with New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to create the Roeliff Jansen Park for recreational, agricultural and educational uses.
- In 2009, the citizens of Hillsdale supported a referendum to purchase the former Hillsdale Public Library for use as a new Town Hall. As one of the town’s most notable structures, the building quickly became the cornerstone of a Hamlet-wide survey of historical properties.
- In 2009, the Conservation Advisory Council obtained grants for a town-wide groundwater study completed by the New York Rural Water Association.
- In 2009, the Hillsdale Youth Program inaugurated its first season in the Roe Jan Park with a special focus on environmental education – taking advantage of the open space and farm setting.
- In 2009, on Veteran’s Day, a new memorial was dedicated to honor those who served in major wars.
- In 2009 and 2010, the Hamlet Committee led the effort to have a design and development plan created for Hillsdale hamlet that would be adopted by the Town in 2011.
- In 2010, the Hillsdale Hamlet Historic District was listed on State and National Registers, allowing property owners to take advantage of valuable tax credits.
- In 2011, Town offices officially moved into the new Town Hall, the former Hillsdale Public Library.
- In 2011, the Town adopted a new Town Seal, commemorating the renovation of the new Town Hall and the Historic District.
- In 2012, the Columbia County Sheriff Sub-station moved into the former Town Hall, ensuring wider protection for residents of the Roe Jan area.
- In 2013, the Historic Hillsdale committee raised $40,000 to renovate the slate roof of Town Hall.
- In 2014, Hillsdale was awarded a large grant to renovate and improve sidewalks on Route 23 by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). Construction begins in 2016.
- In 2014, the Hillsdale leg of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail was cleared from Black Grocery Road to Anthony Street, and is scheduled to be paved in 2016.
- In 2014, the Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market launches in the Roe Jan Park.
- By 2015, playground equipment in the Hamlet and Roe Jan parks had been updated to include equipment for toddlers and equipment for older youngsters.
- In 2016, the Columbia Turnpike East Gate Toll House, located on Route 23 near Mitchell Street was listed on the State and National Registers.
Like other Roe Jan communities, Hillsdale is a rural community and seeks to maintain a productive connection to its agrarian past. But it is also committed to economic growth without sacrificing its farming traditions, open space, and historic buildings.