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Fayetteville: Seeking to shape the future

Small town character, walkability and neighborhood connectivity are all top priorities for residents living in Fayetteville -- ideals discussed during a comprehensive workshop held in May 2007.

About 20 people came out for the second of three public informational meetings Jan. 24 to discuss the village's comprehensive plan again. The purpose of the plan is to express the vision of the community, to create a statement of goals and policies and to take action steps to achieve those goals and policies.

The last time Fayetteville saw a comprehensive plan set in place was in 1980. Without one, a village is vulnerable to unwelcome changes within its community. Mayor Mark Olson and an advisory committee comprised of nine people with diverse backgrounds are taking steps to eliminate that from happening. This work in progress is designed to give guidance for a 10- to 20-year period for future board members who are working to keep the fabric of Fayetteville alive.

There are two parts to a comprehensive plan, Fritz said. The first is creating a vision and establishing goals, done by identifying land use and development, as well as natural and cultural resources. The second part takes on inventory, discussing demographics.

Paul Fritz, a representative of EDR, presented the small but interactive audience with general details to date.

Focus areas

Fritz and colleagues looked at potential development in locations such as the Paper Mill site, the lower business district (Towne Center area) and Tracy's Lumberyard property in the town of Manlius.

Condos and townhouses, walkability through sidewalks, connective parking and a mixed-use residential/business prospective have all been considered in keeping the character of Fayetteville intact.

"A lot of these things are five to 10 years out, but with the exception of the lumberyard, things are happening," Olson said. "The zoning and planning board will be very busy the next five years."

The village is taking a proactive approach, Fritz said.

"If the village doesn't say what they want, they're gonna get anything," he said, emphasizing the purposed of having a guideline.

Olson also noted that competition for grants is big.

"Having a comprehensive plan facilitates the grant review process," he said.

Olson stressed that public input is extremely important, adding that the project requires a "delicate balance" for an aesthetic and profitable future.

The next public meeting, which will introduce the draft plan, will take place sometime in spring.

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