Welcome to The Town of Olive!

Nestled in the Catskill Mountains of New York State is 40,000 acres named the Town of Olive. In 1824, theory has it that it was so named from the biblical story of the dove returning to Noah’s ark with an Olive branch. The Ashokan Reservoir geographically divides Olive–north and south. The hamlets around the shoreline are Boiceville, Olivebridge, Samsonville, Krumville, Shokan, West Shokan, and Ashokan.

The passing of the Water Act of 1905 led to the building of the handmade Ashokan Dam on the Esopus Creek and upon its completion in 1916 created the Ashokan Reservoir, a main water supply for the City of New York-Olive’s largest landowner. The demand for pure, clean drinking water for New York City inhabitants changed the course of history for the Town of Olive and still has an impact on everyday life. The Town center and the majority of the Town’s residents were forced from the rich Esopus Valley and relocated to the nearby foothills. In May of 1997 Land Use Regulations, which could become a model for the rest of the country, became effective as a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between Watershed Towns and the City of New York to provide for protection of water quality throughout the New York City Watershed.

Traveling west on State Route 28, Olive is thirty minutes from Kingston, New York—the first capitol of New York State-and is a little more than an hour travel time to the current state capitol of Albany. Being only two hours north of New York City and totally within the Catskill State Park, Olive has been a seasonal recreational area for New Yorkers. The boarding house days and hunting camps of the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s have vanished and are now seasonal second homes or primary residences for many city folk.

The major industries of timber harvesting, tanneries, and excelsior mills, which once ravaged the mountains of Olive, have long vanished as the Catskill Forest Preserve was created in 1885 keeping forever the preserve as wild forest lands. The Catskills have been a favorite tourist destination for over 100 years. Today’s Olive is primarily residential in nature, with a large percentage of seasonal residents, and a limited number of backyard farms with victory gardens.

Local Flood Analysis June 26th Meeting

Olive’s Flood Advisory Committee

Statement of Purpose and Scope

for Local Flood Analysis

A Public Informational Meeting on Local Flood Analysis (LFA)

will be held Monday, June 26th, 7 pm at the Town Meeting Hall in Shokan.  

Major floods have become more frequent, and government resources for recovery have decreased.   These floods have caused significant property loss and severely disrupted community life. While a single property owner cannot take on the tasks necessary to reduce or remove flood hazards of this magnitude, the Town can. To that end, the Town Board, Olive’s Flood Advisory Committee, along with the Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program, authorized this Local Flood Analysis (LFA) as the first step towards attempting to reduce damage and disruption of future floods.

The primary concerns that are driving this project are:

·        Concern for the safety of Town residents and visitors

·        Repeated damage to buildings and public infrastructure

·        Disruption of community life during repairs and clean‐up

·        Increasing cost of flood insurance (required by mortgage lenders) that becomes an economic burden on our local citizens, reducing       property values and driving some businesses to close

·        Continued damage to natural resources, especially stream banks and beds.


As the Committee has worked on this first step toward finding solutions to reduce or remove flood  hazards, several key values have guided:

·        Cost‐effective for the Town to build and to maintain

·        Cost‐effective for individuals and businesses directly involved

·        Maintain, as much as possible, the sense of community and the “flavor” of our business and residential areas

·        Reviewed in public meetings and be accepted by the community as realistic and desirable

·        Thoroughly researched and analyzed with proper engineering methods and professional expertise

·        Implemented with care and economy by professionals experienced in flood hazard mitigation following permitted town‐approved plans

·        Protect our natural resources, especially the streams and wildlife.

The two study areas for the Town of Olive’s LFA are in the Boiceville hamlet and the second area in the West Shokan hamlet.  The Boiceville Study Area extends from the Town Boundary to approximately 2.3 river miles downstream on the Esopus Creek, which is approximately 1.2 miles downstream of the Route 28A Bridge near the Esopus‐Ashokan Reservoir confluence.


The actual LFA document can be accessed through the following links: 

Town of Olive LFA Report      

Town of Olive LFA Report Appendix A          

Town of Olive LFA Report Appendix B


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