In a year dedicated to the city's past, Saratoga Springs civic and business leaders are charting a course for its future. As YNN's Matt Hunter reports, this week marks the beginning of a nine month long process to update the Spa City's comprehensive plan.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Saratoga Springs has officially begun its comprehensive plan update process with a public kick-off and workshop this week.
"It's important for cities to plan for their future,” said Jaclyn Hakes, MJ Engineering’s director of planning services, who’s serving as the project manager for the comprehensive plan update. “The City of Saratoga Springs has been fortunate that they have in the past planned for their future."
While the city charter mandates the plan be reviewed every five years, this is the first update since 2001. Generally, it provides a blueprint for future growth, including land use, infrastructure, transportation and economic development.
"There are some obvious issues that are going to be addressed, like do we have enough parking, do we not have enough parking, do we have too much building?" said Adirondack Trust CEO Charles Wait, who’s serving on the update committee.
"I would pretty much guarantee South Broadway will be high on the agenda,” committee chairman Clifford Van Wagner said. “The city has issues there and that's ripe for being revisited."
Guided by the firm MJ Engineering, the 15 member committee includes a bevy of leaders from the city's private and public entities. Wait is the lone holdover from the 2001 review process.
"We had arguments, as any group does,” said Wait, referring to the 2001 process. “But it's a good process, a healthy process and I think at the end of it, we'll come up with a good product."
Set to be revised over the next seven to nine months, they do not pinpoint specific projects.
One of the key challenges will be drafting a proposal that accounts for an increasingly diverse population and economy due to new companies, like GlobalFoundries.
"Some people view that change as positive, some people view them as negative,” Wait said. “I think we have an opportunity here to adjust those changes in a way that meets the realities of life."
"It's great place to live, it's a great place to work and that's our goal to make sure that continues to happen," Van Wagner said.
Once complete, the comprehensive plan will be submitted to the City Council. A public idea workshop and open house is scheduled for June 26 and 27. For more information, visit www.engagesaratoga.com.