Civic Association of Smallwood, New York, Inc.
What Is Smallwood?
The Civic Association of Smallwood (SWCA), incorporated in 1943, has as its Members, homeowners who reside either seasonally or year-round in Smallwood, an unincorporated hamlet of the Town of Bethel, Sullivan County, New York.
Since its inception as a vacation community in the late 1920’s, Smallwood has evolved into an active year-round community offering four seasons of outdoor recreation and more, in and around the boundaries of our hamlet and Sullivan County. Within the confines of Smallwood is the Town of Bethel’s 135-acre Forest Reserve at Smallwood, as well as the town’s dog park.
Additionally, the hamlet is in close proximity to the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the Delaware River, White Lake, Lake Superior State Park, the Bashakill Wetlands, and the southern tier of the Catskill Mountain peaks. While not in the water or out on the trails, one can visit several local arts organizations, farmer’s markets and a number of quaint main streets throughout the county. (Bethel was host to the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Festival and the Bethel Woods Center For The Arts sits on part of the festival site.)
The Civic Association counts among its assets Mountain Lake. The Association provides a swimming beach with lifeguard supervision and a boat launch. Our Lake Hill Lodge and Park Complex consists of a children’s playground, a multi-use ball field, tennis, pickleball, basketball, and handball courts. Use of these facilities and the various educational, cultural and special events associated with them are only available to Members.
To ensure the ongoing environmental sustainability and health of Mountain Lake, its shoreline, beach, and dam and to enable the SWCA to set aside money for the repair and maintenance of the dam, beach and other facilities and infrastructure associated with the Association’s use of the lake, we maintain a Lake Capital Improvement Fund. All new Members, in addition to their first year’s dues, must also pay a one-time, non-refundable Membership Initiation Fee. The Membership Initiation Fee, in its entirety, goes to the Lake Capital Improvement Fund.
There is no Homeowner’s or Property Owner’s Association in Smallwood. Homeowners who have chosen to join the Civic Association have done so because they see the value and benefits that membership offers, and many support and participate with the Association in its commitment to maintain and preserve the rural character of Smallwood, whose housing stock consists primarily of cabins and cottages.
The Association’s Board of Directors is comprised of thirteen elected Members who volunteer their time, efforts, and expertise. While the SWCA does pay for some professional services for the purposes of maintaining and improving our shared resources in a cost effective manner, assistance from Membership is always in demand for the management and upkeep of our assets and various programs, which are often led by sub-committee.
While the SWCA occasionally partners with the Town of Bethel in hosting special events and counts among its friends many of the elected officials in Bethel and in Sullivan County, the Civic Association is just that – a civic association. We have control over only our assets and we are not a civil authority. While the SWCA may advocate before various local, state, and federal entities on behalf of Membership regarding zoning, water and air quality, and other quality of life issues, we have neither regulatory nor legislative power, and cannot enforce the town’s code whether it be speed limits, illegal parking, noise violations, litter, or any of the myriad quality of life issues faced by residents.
The roads within the hamlet are neither owned nor maintained by the SWCA. They are Bethel roads and are maintained by the town and are patrolled by Bethel Constables, the Sullivan County Sheriff, and the New York Sate Police.
We invite Smallwood homeowners to join the Association. You will find more detailed information regarding becoming a Member, fees and dues, as well as what benefits and responsibilities come with Membership here.
If you are interested in buying a home here, please contact a local realtor. Or, if you need information on a specific property or area of the town, contact the Town of Bethel, the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce, or a realtor, as the Association does not provide such information.