The right and the wrong of the Upper Delaware
By DIMITRI ZAIMES
When discussing and planning the future of the Upper Delaware region, it will be necessary to accept and promote the well-established positive aspects of our area. For example, the large tracts of public lands used by tourists and residents alike in the pursuit of outdoor activities; public access to rivers, streams and lakes for boating, fishing and swimming; national landmarks and developed historic sites promoted by both state and federal agencies for the use and education of the general public. In short, we need to promote and expand our support of tourism. Tourists bring millions of dollars to our area each year. These millions of dollars provide jobs and sales tax revenue without creating a drain on our tax base.
While these tourists are flooding our area during the different seasons of the year, a certain number of them find the region to their liking and purchase or build homes for full-time or part-time use. This influx of new part-time and full-time residents also boosts our tax base.
The above-outlined scenario, in my opinion, is whats right with the Upper Delaware region, and to protect it and promote it, we need to do the following:
As voters we need to insist that our local townships institute zoning regulations that will keep our area from being over-developed and turned into another Long Island. We need to preserve our open land and protect our rural areas from being turned into suburban areas. For example, we need larger building lot requirements and stricter containment of business and industrial parks. People come to our area from the metropolitan areas to relax and enjoy the country. We cant allow the greed of developers and politicians to destroy the one thing that makes our area unique.
Our township and county governments should be passing ordinances and regulations to promote and assist the local businesses that cater to our biggest economic booster: our tourists. As an example, current and future commercial zones should be established instead of leaving these locations subject to the political wind of current or future incumbents. Just as the individual landowner needs to be able to plan for the future, so do local businesses, and to do that they need solid zoning ground to stand on.
Some of the things mentioned in the last two paragraphs are not being given the proper attention by our elected officials, and it is our jobyes, our job as votersto insist that they correct the problem.
[Dimitri Zaimes is the owner of Anglers Roost and Hunters Rest at Two River Junction in Lackawaxen, PA.]