Bolton embarks on new growth for the community

BOLTON LANDING Local residents envisioned Bolton with more walkways to town parks, shoreline and historic landmarks, increased off-street parking, and contained commercial growth, as they met recently to help form a master plan for the hamlet. The municipal planning firm LA group of Saratoga Springs conducted a brainstorming session Oct. 15 to hear ideas for a sustainable hamlet development. The firms study is bankrolled with a $50,000 Smart Growth grant from the federal Environmental Protection Fund. The citizens suggestions paralleled the firms concepts, said LA Group Senior Planner Jeffrey Anthony, a Bolton resident. We are trying to create a pedestrian centered downtown, Anthony said. This will require a lot of parking space outside the main commercial district we hope to foster lot-sharing agreements with local businesses as a solution to the traffic problem. Traffic and dependence on vehicles is what sustainability and smart growth aims to combat, with its emphasis on a walkable community with all citizens activities and needs -- commercial and social obtainable in close proximity. According to Tracy Clothier, Senior Planner at the LA Group, the Hamlet of Bolton Landing is optimal place for application of Smart Growth principles, because of its compact nature, the property tax revenue from The Sagamore, and the lake as a natural attraction and resource. We focus on sustainability, Clothier said to the robust audience of residents and business owners. Sustainability means a community meeting its present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. Clothier said the LA Group was seeking to boost walkability of downtown Bolton, and using existing commercial zones for regulated business growth. At the workshop, residents were separated into groups and they identified with cultural, economic and ecological features of the community that should be developed and potential barriers to such progress One of the objectives the citizens supported was eliminating much of the summer-season parking on Rte. 9N. Clothier said that the smart growth approach being proposed in Bolton Landing could be used as a model for other Adirondack communities. But she didnt divulge specifics. In hamlets like Warrensburg and Chestertown we would have to create a plan that fits the strengths of those communities, she said. Since a Hamlet like Warrensburg doesnt have the lake or The Sagamore, there would be differences, but the principles can still work. Bolton Landing resident Earl Mikoloski said the master plan was a work in progress.. I wouldnt call this seminal, he said. It is on ongoing community effort where we recognize we must evolve to survive. Former Bolton Supervisor Deanne Rehm said that she was surprised by the degree of consensus among the 40 or so residents on at the meeting. We have to welcome economic growth, she said. But it has to meet a certain model, so the community itself is not compromised. Bolton Supervisor Kathleen Simmes said she believes this a first step in molding the hamlets future. What we are trying to do is solve our incredible parking issues, she said. We can do this while dealing with housing, boating and commercial zoning issues all at once.

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