The Northern Westchester Examiner

Somers’ Future Being Addressed in Comprehensive Plan Update

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Frank Fish, a consultant employed by the Town of Somers to help revise its Comprehensive Plan.
Frank Fish, a consultant employed by the Town of Somers to help revise its Comprehensive Plan.

A consultant hired by the Town of Somers to help update the town’s Comprehensive Plan for the first time since 1994 provided an update to the public last week.

Consultant Frank Fish said he and Town Planner Syrette Dym are working to update the document. The main purpose of the Comprehensive Plan is for “guiding the future of Somers,” Fish said. They are using much of the information compiled by the former Master Plan Committee, which volunteered their efforts from 2003 to 2008.

Fish said the town board was planning to hold a second public discussion on the Comprehensive Plan in May. “The future land use map is a key” to what will be discussed in May, he said.

Fish said the town board’s goal was to have a complete draft by June. After reviewing it over the summer, the town board would hold hearings on the document starting in the fall. Supervisor Rick Morrissey said the town board could approve the revised document by the end of the year,

Fish said he and Dym are currently seeking to write a 14 chapter document. The chapters currently include introduction and vision, goals and objectives, population, land use and zoning, residential development, commercial development, transportation, environment and sustainability, open space and recreation, historic/cultural resources and community character, public facilities and services, future land use plan, and implementation.

There have been a number of changes in Somers since 1994, including new and proposed developments for the Baldwin Place/Route 6 corridor; the providing of affordable housing in mixed use developments; shifts in the regional office market; and the recognition of the importance of environmental sustainability and resiliency planning strategies, Fish said.

Resident Mike Hurson said he did not want overdevelopment in town in the future. Hurson said if the town sought to construct additional sewer systems to replace septics of current properties that could encourage more development. Councilman Richard Clinchy said he agreed that the town should be careful where it creates new infrastructure.

“That’s the purpose of a Master Plan,” Clinchy said.

Michael Barnhart, chair of the town’s Open Space Committee, said several committees in town, including his own, the town and planning boards, should hold a joint meeting on the Comprehensive Plan update. Morrissey said that was a good idea.

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