Manlius residents on July 23 caught a first glimpse of the village's proposed comprehensive plan. If approved as is, "Vision Manlius" will, according to one trustee, not simply be a guideline. Instead, the proposed plan will govern long-term village growth and be enforceable.
Vision Manlius was put together by Laberge Group, an Albany-based planning firm, as well as a steering committee made up of 14 community members, including village trustees Natalie Miner, Eric Krouse and Mark-Paul Serafin.
The plan is designed to create a clear roadmap for the future of the village and its citizens, laying out goals for aspects of village life such as land use and zoning, transportation, natural resources, open space, parks and recreation, and economic development. It's a forum for village residents to express concern and offer solutions for the many challenges that come with variables such as development pressures, increasing costs, and demographic changes in the village.
Trustee Krouse noted that once finalized the comprehensive plan would be a legal document approved by the state government. This, he said, would not only help the village receive grants but would also keep future board members from coming into office and making changes in the town that counteract the values and priorities set up by the plan.
"In the process of making this plan there was a lot of discussion as to whether this should be more a guideline or should this have teeth to it," Krouse said. "And we all said, 'We want teeth.'"
"The old clich (c) is that it's a blueprint," said Laberge Group's Tim Cullenen of the plan. "It is really based on a lot of public input, from the citizens, the homeowners, the business owners who have made their lives here. The goal is to establish a sense of purpose as to what your community is about."