After two years of work, the Nelson Comprehensive Plan is entering the final stages for completion. The plan committee held a public meeting last week to get public feedback on the current draft, and is asking residents to take one final look at the plan and submit any comments to the committee which can then be included in the final document before it is submitted for approval.
“The meat and potatoes of the Comprehensive Plan are the goals which begin on page 37. I would encourage residents to take a close look at the goals and feel free to comment on any that they disagree with (using the email provided on the Madison County website), with a short explanation of why so the committee has a good understanding of where the concerns are coming from,” said Jen Marti, town councilor and committee member. “If someone is uncomfortable with a goal, or aspect of a goal, likely someone else is too. Likewise, if you think a goal could be expanded, we want those comments as well.”
This comprehensive plan is the Town of Nelson’s guide to growth and development over the next decade. It covers all aspects of the town, including land use, transportation, housing, parks, business, open spaces, and more. It is an update from the last Comprehensive Plan in 2007.
According to the 2018 draft plan, “Stated simply, the vision [of the Town of Nelson] is to retain a pastoral, agricultural community that enjoys strong ties to a healthy, beautiful environment and is anchored by two historic hamlets, which are the center of community life.”
A committee analysis revealed the town’s strengths to be rural charm, unique ecosystems and niche businesses, while threats or weaknesses included sprawling single family home development, declining employment opportunities and fear of inappropriate development along the Route 20 corridor, according to the draft. “The greatest opportunities lie in strengthening the hamlets, building an identity around the town’s unique strengths and connecting residents and visitors to recreational assets,” according to the draft.
The Town of Nelson Comprehensive Plan Committee, formed in 2016, is comprised of Diane Cass, Nancy Demyttenaere, John Laubscher, Jennifer Marti and Wayne Matteson, with assistance from Jamie Kowalczk and Sarah Krisch of the Madison County Planning Department.
The committee held numerous meetings and interviews, and conducted surveys and analyses, as part of the plan update process. Nelson residents were engaged in the process first by receiving a comprehensive survey in the mail in August 2017, and then by attending a public meeting in August 2018.
On Sept. 5, the committee held one final public hearing to receive resident feedback. The committee is now asking Nelson residents to take one final look at the draft plan and email any last comments to the committee for inclusion on the final version of the report.
The 2018 draft Nelson Comprehensive Plan can be found online on the Madison County Planning Department website at madisoncounty.ny.gov/355/Planning. Comments about the plan can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.