Friday, January 27, 2006

Comprehensive Plan Goals

The Dryden Comprehensive Plan is full of interesting information and ideas. But it's a bit difficult to sort through. Pages 32-38 list ten clear goals, each with its own six to ten objectives. Here are the goals:

  1. General: preserve the rural and small town character of the Town of Dryden, and the quality of life its residents enjoy, as the town continues to grow in the coming decades.
  2. Agriculture: Promote the long-term economic viability of the agricultural community in the town, and preserve agricultural land resources, without unduly infringing on property rights.
  3. Commercial: Provide for a variety of options for town residents to purchase goods and services in locations convenient to home and work while preserving the rural and small-town character of the town.
  4. Economic: Provide for a wide variety of employment options for town residents.
  5. Housing: Provide for a variety of affordable, high-quality housing options for all town residents.
  6. Open Space and Environmental Protection: Preserve the natural open space resources, environmentally sensitive areas and unique flora and fauna of the town as it develops in the coming decade.
  7. Parks and Recreation: Develop a system of park and recreational facilities designed to serve the variety of recreational needs of town residents in a cost effective manner, and located so as to provide easy access from major town population centers.
  8. Public and Semi-Public Facilities: Develop and maintain public facilities such as water and sewer and road infrastructure in an efficient and cost effective manner.
  9. Public Safety: Ensure provision of a comprehensive system of fire, police and emergency services and communications to protect life and property throughout the town.
  10. Transportation: Provide for a safe, efficient and diversified transportation system to serve the needs of all town residents.

I think writing a Comprehensive Plan is like writing a utopian novel except that, rather than starting with a blank slate, planners can start with an assumption that there are things about the existing community that we like and would like to enhance. I'm happy to see, in these stated goals, a balance between protecting resources and planning for growth.

One thing conspicuously absent is culture and education. I guess that's two things. Our public schools, community college and public library, not to mention proximity to Cornell, are huge influences on the community. Perhaps, like parks and recreation, we should address cultural and continuing education opportunities. I'm not very likely to play softball in the coming decades. But I sure do enjoy a good bookclub.


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