The Town of New Castle recently contracted with the Pace Land Use Law Center to assist the Town with the Outreach and Education component of the Master Plan Update. They will consult on the public engagement process of the comprehensive planning effort; Design, consult and provide facilitation and recording services for public sessions and specific organizational stakeholder sessions; Present at a Comprehensive Plan Kick-Off Workshop for the general public regarding the legality, authority and opportunities presented by comprehensive planning; and Provide training for the various Boards of the Town to discuss the land use tools and techniques and the significance of the comprehensive plan.
Tiffany Zezula and John Nolan from the Pace Land Use Law Center sat down with the Master Plan Steering Committee and the Town Board on March 18, 2014 to start the discussion. Watch the meeting Here............
Front Row (L-R):
Hala Makowska (Public Works)
Richard Brownell (Environment)
Robert Kirkwood (Housing)
Back Row (L-R):
Sabrina D. Charney Hull, AICP, Town Planner
Maud Bailey (Public Services)
Robert Greenstein, Town Supervisor (Commercial)
(Picture by Christine Yeres)
The Master Plan Steering Committee has identified 5 Work Group topics to further the Master Plan Update. Each Steering Committee Member is responsible for a project work group. The work group topics are:
1. Commercial Development and Hamlets-This work group will examine commercial land use throughout the Town. The Chappaqua and Millwood Hamlets will be examined in relation to what they are to today and where we want them to be in the future.
2. Housing-This work group will examine the issue of affordable housing, accessory apartments, subdivision and building regulations and oversized lots in the context of whether or not we want to maintain our overall development pattern.
3. Public Works Infrastructure- This work group will look at the Town's government services, libraries, emergency services, sidewalks and pathways, address cell phone towers, maintenance and depreciation of infrastructure, transportation and the like. Issues related to paper streets, and above ground utilities will be discussed.
4. Environment, Habitat and Scenic Resources- This workgroup will examine the current environmental regulations, determine is areas of our environment are not adequately protected, discuss whether or not the existing regulations are to burdensome to property owners, how better to create trail and habitat linkages, identify and protect scenic resources, etc.
5. Public Services and Recreation- This work group will focus on the general areas of passive/active recreation, senior services, library and education. The goals and policies from the existing background documents will be reviewed, use inventories will be conducted, and historical resources will be explored.
Each work group will examine their topics using the following baseline policies or themes:
1. Stewardship- Stewardship embodies the responsible planning and management of resources. The concepts of stewardship can be applied to the environment, economics, health, property, information, theology, etc. Stewardship is linked to the principle of sustainability.
2. Sustainability-Sustainability is based on the principle that everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations. Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have, the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment. Are we sustainable and if not, how can we become sustainable?
3. Diversity-Diversity is the condition of having or being composed of differing elements such as people of different races or cultures, habitats, animal species, income levels, housing types, etc. If diversity is seen as a good thing, are we already diverse? Do we need more diversity? How can this be accomplished?
4. Vitality- Vitality is the capacity to live and develop. Is the community vital? Do we want to see the community change from what it is today and if so, what is envisioned for that change?
5. Mobility-Mobility in relation to moving from one place to another; changing socially or economically. Mobility is most relevant in establishing corridors both for transportation and recreation purposes. Utilizing existing mobility options (cars, train, etc) plays a large role in directing the development of the community.
6. Affordability- Affordability is to be able to do or spare something without incurring financial difficulties or without risk of undesirable consequences. Affordability is most relevant in providing options for housing, protecting open space, creating recreation areas, etc.
About the Project
The Town of New Castle's first comprehensive plan was adopted by the Planning Board in 1958. The most recent Town Development Plan was adopted in November of 1989. Much of the data and background materials for the 1989 Town Development Plan were compiled in 1984. The Town Board is looking to update the Town Development Plan once again. Much has changed from 1989 to the present. The Updated Master Plan will reflect this change and speak to the future of development in New Castle.
The Town Board has appointed a 5-member Steering Committee to work with the Town Planner to develop the Master Plan Update and they have hired the Pace Land Use Law Center to assist the Town with the Master Plan Outreach and Education process.