Open space plan to be reviewed, community input sought

PERU - The people of the town of Peru will have the ability to shape the future of the town - they only need to attend a meeting.

Adele Douglas, secretary of the Committee to Implement the Comprehensive Plan, said a meeting will be held at Peru Town Hall, 3036 Main St., Tuesday, March 31, giving residents a chance to view a draft of the Town of Peru Open Space Plan. The plan, Douglas explained, is a recommendation of the town's 2006 comprehensive plan and will help guide the town's current rezoning efforts by including room for open space.

"There were a number of recommendations in the comprehensive plan that had to do with protecting the rural character of Peru, based on public input," said Douglas. "The open space plan goes further getting more public input and gives you a more detailed plan about how you want to protect the natural resources, the open space, the farmland."

According to an introduction contained within the 57-page open space plan, parcels have been identified "with significant resource value and open space potential," offering a "preservation toolbox" for the town to follow over the next five to 10 years. The plan outlines approximately 31,732 acres of woodland, 8,151 acres of farm field and orchards land and 4,857 acres of land within a stream corridor, all of which would benefit from having a plan in place for future use. Such open space like parks and scenic viewing areas could provide useful if the town wanted to pursue capitalizing on the tourism and travel industry, the plan suggests.

In all, the plan essentially identifies what townspeople have deemed important and provides recommendations how to protect those features, said Douglas.

"It's still a draft plan," she said. "We definitely would like people to come and make their comments. The town's not in a rush to adopt anything."

"When we did the comprehensive plan," Douglas continued. "I was really impressed with the number of people who came to meetings, the number of surveys that were filled out that got mailed. We just want to keep that going."

The plan will be presented by Nan Stolzenburg, a consultant with the downstate firm Community Planning and Environmental Associates. The public forum will be open to community input. Among other topics, the discussion is expected to include protecting the town's environmental resources.

For more information about Tuesday's forum, contact Douglas at 643-7863.

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