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Ancram finishes 1st comprehensive plan updates; supervisor hopes for new plan by mid-2019

Contributed by the Town of Ancram Ancram Town Hall.
November 7, 2018 02:26 pm

ANCRAM — The town will have a meeting to review its goals for the next 11 years as it seeks to update its comprehensive plan for 2030.

Town Supervisor Art Bassin announced Nov. 3 the town has completed the first three phases of reviewing and updating its comprehensive plan fro the next decade — much of which is similar to the original plan adopted in 2010.

“We hope to have the plan finished by the end of the year,” Bassin said. “Then, we will have some public hearings and then hopefully adopt it in the middle of next year.”

Putting together future town goals incorporated input from the community right from the beginning, Bassin said, citing the town used surveys that involved about 350 people, which is about 26 percent of the town’s population over 18 years old, in addition to 150 other residents who participated in the process.

“Like the original comprehensive plan, this one relies heavily on community input,” Town Deputy Supervisor Hugh Clark said.

The survey results, which were released in July, show most respondents were full-time homeowners who have lived in the town for more than 20 years. A majority of respondents — about 94 percent — said the vision defined in the 2010 comprehensive plan remains the hope for what the town will look like within the next decade.

The main tenant of the town’s comprehensive plan is to sustain the town’s farming and rural, open space character.

Bassin stressed the need to look more into renewable energy sources, which was included in the 2010 plan, but the nature around the issue has changed, he said. The town changed much of its zoning laws in 2014, including allowing the use of small solar and wind power devices for residential and small-business use.

“In 2010, solar was not as major of an issue as it is now,” Bassin said. “We want to look into how we can better take advantage of renewables.”

The goals and strategies for 2030, laid out by the town’s Comprehensive Plan Review Committee, include considering policies for appropriately scaled solar and wind projects to generate electricity for the community.

The town’s environmental goals in 2010 remain relevant to the town’s future, according to 96 percent of survey respondents.

Because the town achieved much of its 2010 Comprehensive Plan with new zoning, Clark said, Ancram can begin to focus on areas such as traffic speeds and safety.

“Traffic speed is a very important issue for many people,” Clark said. “Also, attracting small- and moderate-sized businesses to the area.”

People are interested in the town attracting convenience stores and cafes to the hamlets of Ancram and Ancramdale, he said.

Clark cited a partnership that reopened the Ancram Opera House, 1330 Route 7, which draws in people from all over the county, including Hudson, as steps in the direction of bringing in new amenities to the town.