Photo: Town of Delaware UDC Representative presented his town board with a map depicting the town boundaries within the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River corridor at a Dec. 14, 2022 meeting.
NARROWSBURG – The Upper Delaware Council (UDC) announces the availability of the annual Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational Corridor Code Enforcement Activities Report for the 2022 calendar year.
In total, there were 228 permits, variances, ordinances, and zoning changes issued within the designated corridor of the 13 UDC member towns and townships from Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2022.
This compares to 132 in 2021, 84 in 2020, and 85 in 2019. This data suggests the impacts that the coronavirus pandemic had on building and development activities since 2020.
Established in 1988, the UDC operates under a Cooperative Agreement with the National Park Service (NPS) to oversee implementation of the River Management Plan (RMP).
One required task is for the UDC to perform an annual review of land use practices in each of its 13 participating New York towns and Pennsylvania townships to ensure that the goals, principles, and objectives of the RMP are being met. NPS, which receives the advisory report, is responsible for monitoring enforcement within the two non-participating townships that comprise the Upper Delaware unit of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
The UDC’s review assesses each member town/township’s enforcement program within the designated river corridor boundary by examining building permits issued, variances granted, and any patterns of ordinances, code amendments, or project approvals which may impact the river or contradict the provisions set forth in the RMP.
A comparison of previous annual reports showed that the number of permits issued continues to increase since the 2020 pandemic, although at a slower rate than previously.
The 2022 statistics revealed that the number of building permits issued increased by 27% over 2021 numbers. This increase occurred in the Towns of Tusten and Highland in New York, and Westfall Township in Pennsylvania.
Many municipalities had no building permits issued for properties located in the river corridor at all. Lackawaxen and Damascus Townships had building permit numbers that were consistent with 2021 numbers.
There were a total of twenty-eight (28) permits issued for new single family dwellings within the corridor. Most of the other permits were for items such as decks, renovations, additions, roof replacements, and minor property improvements.
For the full 2022 report compiled by UDC Resources and Land Use Specialist Kerry Engelhardt, download and view it online at www.upperdelawarecouncil.org/publications/ or call (845) 252-3022.