An update to the Rensselaer County town of East Greenbush's comprehensive plan is moving forward. A public meeting is set for Monday.
First adopted in the 1970s and updated in 1993 and 2006, the plan provides a framework for economic and infrastructure development. Adam Yagelski is East Greenbush's director of planning and zoning. "We're also taking this opportunity to look at implementing land use regulatory framework as well, so that includes subdivision regulations, and the comprehensive zoning law, and then the town also has a generic environmental impact statement that covers a good part of the town that's broadly west of I-90 for the impacts of development and specific mitigation measures that are needed to accommodate that development. So the town board has committed funding for all three phases of this project.”
Town Supervisor Jack Conway says the plan will provide a guide for long-range planning for the growth of the community while protecting its natural, cultural, and economic resources. "The major issue this town is facing is growth. Regeneron is doing the largest development project in the Capital Region at the moment. When they're done with that and it’s fully staffed, they'll have 4,000 employees in a town of 16,400 people. We have to plan for that. We have to hear from the people of East Greenbush what kind of growth are they looking for, what kind of growth are they not looking for, how do we protect natural resources, what kind of East Greenbush does the people of East Greenbush want? Because we don't have an agenda here. We're not plying a certain approach, we're not trying to get to a certain point. We are actually have opened up the process to the public because we need to know what they want this town to become."
Yagelski notes more than a hundred people attended the first public meeting back in June. "We launched the online survey at that time. So this meeting, we're well into the public involvement process and we've had 700 or so responses on the online survey, we've had a series of about 10 stakeholder group meetings. The comprehensive plan steering committee has been doing ts work. The consultant team has been analyzing th existing conditions. We also have a draft vision and guiding principles to present to the public at this workshop. So we're getting to the point where we're starting to hone in on a few topics and start to refine the direction-setting framework, the vision and goals and guiding principles."
Conway says change is happening quickly. "East Greenbush is hot. We're moving, but we don't want to move recklessly and we don't want to move aimlessly. We want a plan and we're not kidding, we're not playing here. We want a comprehensive plan that will actually be a plan, not the document you put on the shelf and say 'well, we met the requirement to update the comprehensive plan.’ We are doing this for real and it's going to be the roadmap. This is how we're gonna move forward."
Monday night's meeting is the second of three. Yagelski says the town is aiming to have the draft plan in place by early spring. "We're gonna keep the public survey open until probably the first week of October, the online survey. We really wanna hear from the community because it's critical, not only for the outcome, the product, which is gonna be a plan and an implementation matrix and framework, but also the process of having an ongoing and sustainable conversation about the future of East Greenbush and what the residents wanna see."
Here's a link to the survey. The meeting September 30th starts at 6 at the Red Barn in the Town Park.