Thursday, October 13, 2005

Comprehensive Plan

It’s well worth looking at the Comprehensive Plan. I wish the Town website provided an html file. In my "open space" neighborhood there is no broadband or DSL service. So, downloading the 86 page PDF takes a while. But it’s worth it.

Note that a great deal of public opinion was solicited and considered in the process of developing the plan. The guiding principle has been: "acceptance...of continued growth and development" and protection of the "rural character, viability of villages and hamlets and critical open space resources" of the Town of Dryden. The plan has been developed to deal with anticipated growth over the next twenty years.

The Plan includes valuable sections including a brief history of the town and prior planning iniatives, inventory and analysis of existing resources and infrastructure and synthesis of assumptions underlying the final recommendations. But I find when people first look at the plan their eyes go first to the location of their own home on the "Future Land Use" map. So, let's look at that section first (page 48).

If the "Future Land Use" map used the same colors as the "Existing Land Use" map you might be surprised at how little difference there is. Some yellow existing agricultural land is merged with some green existing forest land into blue "agriculture land" in the future map. Some yellow existing agricultural land is merged with some green existing forest land into green "conservation/open space" land in the future. The red developed areas of the villages of Freeville and Dryden together with the forest and agricultural lands within village boudaries are simplified into lavendar "village" blocks.

The biggest change, to my eye, appears to be the consolidation of developed, undeveloped (brush and meadow) and agricultural areas west of Etna into suburban residential area. Here it's important to understand the intent of the recommendations. "The suburban Residential areas...are not proposed zoning districts [my emphasis]... [they] are expected to encompass a number of different types of residential zoning districts..." ranging from four homes per acre to one home per acre to multifamily rental property. I know there's a great deal of undeveloped land for sale on Etna Road at the moment. I would hate to wake up in twenty years to find it had all been developed with apartment buildings and single family homes on quarter acre lots. But, based on information in the Comprehensive plan, I know that's not going to happen. Given the number of new housing units anticipated and the emphasis on encouraging higher density development in existing village and hamlet centers and proposed implementation of cluster housing plans and guidelines for multifamily development I think it's quite likely that the area will develop into an attractive residential area with adjacent open spaces and agricultural areas.


Post a Comment

<< Home