The town and village Comprehensive Planning Review Committee has created a half-hour video to explain the draft comprehensive plan. The video will be shown on local access station Lighthouse TV23, said Councilwoman Leeanne Thornton.
The draft plan will be available through the town’s website within the next two weeks or so. Copies will also be available in the library, Village Hall and Town Hall, Thornton said.
Typically, towns update their master plans every 10 years or so. The Saugerties Master Plan was last revised in 1999. Some of the recommendations in that plan, such as the consolidation of the town and village police forces, have been implemented.
In general, comprehensive plans spell out a long-term vision for a town which can then be referenced when evaluating subsequent development proposals or grant opportunities. For example, if a comprehensive plan stresses the need to beautify town gateways, subsequent decisions regarding the zoning for businesses in that area of town would consider this. If it states that the town’s renter vs. homeowner proportion is out of whack, the town can then alter the zoning code accordingly. Unlike a zoning code, a comprehensive plan isn’t a binding document.
Once the public has seen the draft of the plan on the web or in hard copies, the committee hopes to hear comments on the proposal. The committee would then schedule a public hearing on the draft plan, Thornton said.
“We want to get it out there for the community to see, watch the TV show, which explains what a comprehensive plan is, and then we will be setting public hearings on it,” said Thornton. The hearings would probably take place near the end of October or early November, she said. “We would like to wrap it up by the first of the year.”
Supervisor Kelly Myers said she recalled that when the proposal to rewrite the master plan was presented to the village, the consultants said there would be meetings to get public input into the plan, “not necessarily just for review of the draft, but public meetings to gather input to write the plan.”
Thornton responded that the public has been welcome to attend all the meetings on the Comprehensive Plan held by the committee. The committee also envisions informal meetings to discuss the plan, she said.
“What if people have different goals? Could that be included or is it too late?” Myers asked. Thornton assured her that the draft is being presented to get public input into what people want to see in the final version.