Comprehensive plan moving forward

SARANAC - Development of the town's comprehensive plan and revitalization strategy is nearing completion.

The Town of Saranac Advisory Committee - an ad hoc committee formed from community members and town representatives - is in the process of finalizing the plans but will first hold a community workshop Monday, June 6, at Saranac Town Hall, 3662 State Route 3. The purpose of the workshop will be for residents to hear ideas developed for the town's proposed May 24, 2011 comprehensive plan and revitalization strategy and to provide input.

Councilman Gerald W. Delaney said the committee has been working for the past eight months to develop the plans, which include "a profile of the community as it exists today, a broad vision and set of goals for the future as well as specific actions for the future."

"We followed what community members at our first meeting gave us and where conversations led us and what actions were requested of the town board," said Delaney. "We've had a number of meetings since then and, in those meetings, discussed many aspects."

The plan, said Delaney, addresses issues such as economic revitalization, recreation, community character, improvements to the State Route 3 corridor, housing, infrastructure and the provision of community services. Further, the plan - if enacted - will serve as a guide for the town in making future decisions about development of the town.

"Some of the things we've discussed include land uses," said Delaney. "Not so much zoning, but looking at ways to reestablish a farming community and doing things to support the logging industry."

The proposed comprehensive plan is something long overdue, said Delaney.

"We're really updating a document that's about 35 years old," Delaney said of the town's current comprehensive plan.

The public is encouraged to attend the June 6 meeting, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. This will be the final community workshop for residents to provide input before the proposed plans are brought before the town council for adoption. The council is anticipated to review the plans at their regularly scheduled board meeting in July.

"The way residents can best serve the project is by coming in open-minded, listening and commenting," said Delaney. "People have spent a lot of time working on this project ... this has ended up to be a well-discussed, well-thought out plan steered by the residents."

For more information about the comprehensive plan and revitalization strategy of the June 6 meeting, contact Delaney at 569-7800, project coordinator Melissa McManus at 297-6753 or Andrew Labruzzo from the state Department of State Division of Coastal Resources at 473-2460.

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