I made it to last night's informational meeting on the Town's Draft Comprehensive Plan, held at the Dryden Town Hall. (The hearing on annexation was at the Village Hall, at the same time, and there was a bit of confusion.) There were about 25 people at the start, and probably 35 people total were there at some point.
Barbara Caldwell explained the format, and then George Frantz gave a 45-minute presentation.
Frantz's presentation was a brief description of the contents of the Draft Comprehensive Plan, noting the goals of the process, the current state of the town, and some of the things they hope to achieve as a result. The town is growing, but not that rapidly, so there's both a need to control growth and an opportunity to do so. Agriculture and open spaces were near the top of the priority list, and increasing the density of existing residential areas to make most efficient use of infrastructure fit nicely with that, as did plans for more parks and the use of cluster subdivisions.
The questions people had, though, made it fairly clear that achieving those goals is going to require a complicated balancing act. I didn't take names of the people asking, but questions included:
They collected all of the comments, and tried to answer many of them.
Some of the questions seem likely to require reconsideration of the plan, though a lot of them also interact with tax, zoning, and policy questions that are only likely to be addressable as the plan moves toward implementation. Some of the questions had serious emotional heat, especially around the Dryden Lake issues and farming. This quote, from someone whose farm is now labeled for suburban residential development, is pretty powerful:
"I can't just pick up my 25 acres and put it into one of your green spots... so you're saying my overall plan should be to screw the farm and the animals, and subdivide?"
I'll be very curious to see what the next draft of the plan looks like.Posted by simon at December 19, 2003 12:49 PM in Dryden Lake , Etna , Route 13/366 , Varna , agriculture , maps , planning and zoning , water and sewer