City Council to Present More Comments Tonight on Draft Comprehensive Plan Update – Spotlight News – The home of The Spot 518
DELMAR – City Council will hold a public hearing to solicit comments on the draft comprehensive plan update at its meeting on Wednesday, May 11 at 6 p.m.
City council opened a public comment period nearly a month ago to provide feedback on the revised zoning plan. The draft document, provided by the Planning Department with the assistance of the Master Plan Update Committee, has been in the works for more than two years.
The project consultant, SWBR, provided an outline of the draft plan to City Council on April 13, after more than 25 committee meetings to develop the document, which began in November 2019.
City Supervisor David VanLuven said he was “grateful” to the planning team for producing the draft document while working on “the worst pandemic in a century”.
“Our planning department and incredible advisory board have done a great job of gathering hundreds of community members’ feedback and recommendations and turning them into an ambitious and exciting vision for Bethlehem,” VanLuven said. “I am very grateful to our planning team, our advisory committee and all the residents who participated so constructively for their excellent work on this vital plan. I look forward to using it as a model to guide the activities of our municipal government over the next decade.
The 216-page plan update guides investments in improving infrastructure and public facilities, addresses housing needs, takes into account new zoning regulations, conserves environmentally sensitive areas, becomes more sustainable on the environmental plan by addressing climate change and resilience, and recommends questions for further study.
“Of all the different agencies that have issued guidelines, we looked to the New York State Climate Action Council and its scoping plan,” SWBR project manager Bill Price said in a statement. april. “This seems to be the only document that should be followed when it comes to climate action.”
The committee established several value statements organized by themes to set expectations for the 2035 plan, including community, utilities, environment/sustainability, land use and transportation. Six overarching principles, based on the American Planning Association’s Sustaining Places: Best Practices for Comprehensive Plans (January 2015), have been identified: interwoven equity, livable built environment, harmony with nature, resilient economy, healthy community, responsible governance and regionalism.
The principles are summarized below:
Intertwined Equity – Ensure justice and equity in meeting the housing, service, health, security and livelihood needs of all citizens and groups.
Habitable built environment – Ensure that all elements of the built environment, including land use, transport, housing, energy and infrastructure, work together to provide sustainable places to live, work and play and green, with a high quality of life. Recognize that historic buildings and structures provide character assets to the built environment.
Harmony with nature – Ensure that the contributions of natural resources to human well-being are explicitly recognized and valued and that maintaining their health is a primary objective.
Resilient economy – Ensure that the community is prepared to deal with positive and negative changes in its economic health and to initiate sustainable urban development and redevelopment strategies that promote the growth of green businesses and reinforce dependence on local assets.
healthy community – Ensure that public health needs are recognized and addressed through provisions for healthy food, physical activity with access to leisure and social interaction, physical and emotional health care , environmental justice and safe neighborhoods.
Responsible governance and regionalism – Ensure continued efficiency in the delivery of public services through collaborative governance and that all local proposals consider, connect and support the mutually beneficial plans of adjacent jurisdictions and the surrounding Capital Region.
Approval of the updated plan is expected by next month, following the end of the public comment period, the adoption of the SEQR resolution and any additional adjustments.