by Terry Duffy
The Town of Lewiston will review its updated comprehensive plan at a Town Hall public hearing, Monday, March 14, at 5:30 p.m., prior to the Town Board work session.
In development over the past year by Wendel Duchscherer Architects and Engineers PC, the 2011 comprehensive plan update is available for review in PDF format on the town's website. It serves as a companion document to the town's existing comprehensive plan adopted in 2000, according to its authors.
The draft update states, "It reconfirms and updates that document to ensure its continued relevancy for the town. It reaffirms the community's commitment to a shared future vision. The update also provides the town with additional tools and new perspectives that reflect more accurately the current state of the town. It is based on more current planning theories and concepts and the recommendations reflect current realities and opportunities."
Perusing the 51-page PDF, it reveals a number of planning items of interest as the town plots its growth in the years ahead. The town has an estimated 16,500 residents according to the 2010 census and currently has 200 approved single-family building lots available - a 7- to 10-year supply.
Some interest items gleaned from the update include:
•Encouraged residential development in areas of the town having adequate services, i.e., transportation, water and sewer availability. In rural areas any development should factor in such criteria as maintaining natural preservation and designing around open space, existing natural features and agricultural lands. The update supports existing agricultural users and discourages development on actively farmed lands.
•A village expansion in areas north of the Village of Lewiston proper, with development suggested to mirror that found in the village in scale and design, with regards to street grids, housing layout, etc.
•Cluster development in the town that's designed to encourage the development of compacted housing in areas and the preservation of open areas in the town.
•Maintaining a conservation zone (nature area) in an area south of Pletcher Road and east of Creek Road, while allowing for economic/industrial uses along areas of Model City and Ridge roads. Such development would be planned/designed to have minimal impact on the surrounding areas.
•Encouraging commercial activity in existing areas such as the Village of Lewiston and Sanborn while also planning for limited additional development in other appropriate areas.
•Developing a town-wide green space inventory to allow the town to better plan in assessing subdivisions.
•Planning for a number of improvements in Sanborn. Included would be visual, design and landscape improvements, business development, a focus on tourism opportunities, improved parking and pedestrian access, and better visual and physical connections to Niagara County Community College and the Saunders Settlement Road area.
•35 recommendations for changes to the town's zoning codes.
•Better utilization of the area's many parks and open recreational spaces, and encouraging careful management/use of the area's waterways.
•Escarpment protection. Included would be establishing policies and regulations intended to prevent inappropriate development on steep slopes of the escarpment.
•Consolidation of such activities as campgrounds and mobile home sites into one area in the town and repealing current town regulations and zoning permitting on their locations.
To view the document visit the town's website, www.townoflewiston.us.