By Edie Johnson
At the Village of Washingtonville October Compehensie Plan Committee Meeting, members spent several hours multitasking. They did both the "grunge" work (almost 2 hours of what actually was a nice break from the complex thinking they are usually tasked with), assembling almost 2,000 flyers designed to bring in more public participation, and assembling the conceptual portion that becomes the vision statements that will form the backbone of the Village's new Comprehensive Plan. Plenty of specifics have already been detailed, but this step is crucial to putting those specifics into a framework . Planner, Bonnie Franson divided the thought process into categoties which each participant contributed to by filling out slips of paper, and the more general Vision Statement began taking form in the concrete goals that will make up new codes and regulations when finished. While a Vision Statement may not sound like a big actual achievement, as the backbone of the Plan ANY future questions about planning, zoning and regulations that are challenged can be refered to and decided according to it AS THE COMPEHENSIVE PLAN'S LEGAL INTENT.
This growing stack of specific fragments will be clarified and added to by surveys by the public and at least one public Workshop., tentatively planned for January, when the holiday rush is past. These surveys and workshop(s) along with each Compehensive Plan Committee Meeting ensure that the process is transparent, and that the public has EVERY opportunity to contribute so that the plan is actually the public's plan.
One HUGE takeaway at the end of the meeting: While the goal of the group and village officials is to complete this iteration of the Comprehensive Plan by June, Franson reassured them that if they continued to show significant progress and there were still some details that required additional clarity, an additional extension of the time frame and associated Moratorium is not legally out of the question. A partial extension would also be a possibility. Clearly, however, this committee is as eager as anyone to have the 2024 Comprehensive Plan ready for final approval so the Village's future directions will be crystal clear, and for that to be done 'with all haste'.
Additional participation in the monthly meetings could expedite his process. No members from the Washingtonville greater community attended this session.