By Hayleigh Gowans
After two years in the making, the Hamlet of Jamesville Master Plan has been completed and a Sept. 27 public meeting on the matter last week unveiled some of the areas of focus DeWitt town planners should consider for future projects.
The final draft of the master plan was presented on Sept. 27 to a group of about 20 residents by Jeanie Gleisner, a program manager of community development and comprehensive planning with the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board (CNY RPDB) who has been working with the Hamlet of Jamesville Master Plan Working Committee since 2015.
A master plan is a document drafted and adopted by municipalities to guide future planning and projects undertaken of a specific area, and make it easier to provide documentation for a project conception when applying for grants and funding. Gleisner stressed that the possible projects included in the master plan for Jamesville are just conceptions and cannot not move forward without approval from DeWitt planning, zoning or town boards, as well as funding or extensive work from project consultants such as architects or engineers.
“This is very much a ‘living document,’ and by no means will everything in this document be undertaken,” said Gleisner.
The master plan working committee is made up of a group of seven full-time members and three alternates who are all business owners or residents of Jamesville. Gleisner, along with DeWitt Director of Planning Sam Gordon, met with the committee to create the final document.
According to the presentation, there were four main “guiding principles” that the master plan committee took into consideration when determining what will be included: preserve valued historic character; strengthen the local economy; promote sustainable development; and to foster visually appealing aesthetically pleasant places. During the process, a survey was distributed to village residents so the master plan committee could gauge what concepts are most important to the residents of the area.
Some areas of focus for the master plan include projects that would improve traffic flow in Jamesville, adding more parking, increasing walkability, create bicycle lanes and paths, create commercial opportunities and possible remediation of the Alpha Cement Plant.
The master plan project is a part of the ‘Vision CNY Regional Partnership for Comprehensive Planning Project’ of the CNY RPDB and was funded by a grant from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Cleaner, Greener Communities program. The project was also in-part funded by the town of DeWitt and authorized by the town board.
Some residents at last week’s meeting felt their comments and questions from previous meetings had not been taken into consideration by the master plan working committee.
Gordon said by no means are any of these proposed projects set in stone, and he would like to meet with residents of Jamesville to determine what projects might be worth looking into.
“What we want to do is work with the residents to take ownership of this document and find projects that will benefit the area,” said Gordon. “Things can be changed.”
Gordon encouraged people who may have input to the master plan or ideas for projects that can be carried out to contact his office at 315-446-3910 ext. 3.
The full Hamlet of Jamesville Master Plan can be viewed online at cnyrpdb.org/programs/comdev/ and will soon be available on the Town of DeWitt’s website.
I am a reporter for the Eagle Bulletin and Cazenovia Republican at Eagle News. I report on topics ranging from town and village government, business, news and features. I am a 2014 graduate of the Roy H. Park School of Communications and have a degree in Journalism and a minor in Psychology.