“It’s huge, huge, huge.” So said Gardiner supervisor Marybeth Majestic in the aftermath of the Town Board’s decision to approve a new version of the Town’s Comprehensive Plan, a document that had not been significantly updated since its adoption in 2004.
The discussion, deconstruction, reconstruction and fine-tuning of the Comp Plan took a full three years to accomplish, involving countless hours of Board and staff support time both in and out of public meetings. Beginning in 2019, design charrettes and public hearings were held and surveys were administered to learn from Gardiner residents what they wanted in this foundational document, which provides guideposts for all the Town’s planning and zoning decisions. Its design incorporated new information compiled by various committees for Gardiner’s Natural Resources Inventory and Open Space Plan. Town attorneys reviewed and redlined every version that the Town Board assembled. Even the Ulster County Planning Board had recommendations for improvements that needed to be absorbed.
And now it’s finally done. With the last public hearing adjourned and the final tweaks in place, the Town Board adopted the new Comprehensive Plan by unanimous vote at its May 3 meeting “It got a round of applause,” Majestic noted. She singled out planning consultant David E. Church, AICP, for special praise “for his assistance to help get us through it.”
Board members won’t get to rest on their laurels for long, however. As the supervisor told Hudson Valley One in her New Year’s interview looking forward to her goals for 2022, “Once adopted, the Comprehensive Plan will need to implement new laws and policies to help implement the recommendations to be addressed in the coming years… We will also need to review and update our zoning based on the results of our updated Comp Plan.” She has often noted that, in order for the frustrating gaps, contradictions and anachronisms in Gardiner’s Zoning Code to be mended, passage of a new Comp Plan was a prerequisite. Now that it’s done, the code itself will need to receive the same painstaking level of scrutiny.
To view Gardiner’s shiny new updated Comprehensive Plan, including all the supporting documents that went into its formulation, visit www.townofgardiner.org/comprehensive-plan.