By Larry Austin
Island Dispatch Editor
After passage of the 2018 Town of Grand Island comprehensive plan, Deputy Town Supervisor Jim Sharpe said the 25 people who participated in the plan process "can now say, 'We have now made a mark on our community that will be dealt with for the next 20 years.' "
The Grand Island Town Board passed the comprehensive plan unanimously at Town Hall Monday night. It was the first update of the Town of Grand Island's master plan in about 20 years.
Sharpe chaired the town's Long Range Planning Committee and steered the master plan process from beginning to end, all within the term of Town Supervisor Nathan McMurray.
Sharpe said "It's been my honor to work on this committee" and "to create a document so intensive."
The plan will make it easier for future planning boards and developers to understand exactly how the town would like certain parts of the community to build out, Sharpe said. While a master plan in 1969 envisioned a town population of over 200,000 people, the 2018 plan, available online, will "move toward enhancing our open space and the integrity of our community, with affirming the 35,000 (population) growth, but also looking to focus our energies on our resources of our community.
"This is the first time in my 20, 25 years in being involved in my community I've seen an alignment moving towards one common goal, and that goal is called ecotourism."