The North Salem Town Board has had a look at the new draft Comprehensive Plan and now it’s going to the Planning Board on Wednesday.
John White, the chairman of the Comprehensive Planning Committee, and Vince Ferrandino, the planning consultant, will present an overview of the plan at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall Annex. The Comprehensive Plan is the policy document that underlies the town’s zoning.
The Comprehensive Plan has been one of the longer sagas of North Salem town government. The last plan was completed in 1985. After more than 10 years of work and delays in part related to implementing a court order to facilitate affordable housing, the Town Board passed the plan in December 2006. But many people objected to the plan on the grounds that it facilitated specific development projects and made recommendations before basic studies were completed. It was challenged in court a few months later.
A new Town Board majority took office in 2008 and rescinded the plan. Since then the Comprehensive Planning Committee has been working on the new draft, surveying town residents and holding meetings to gather input.
The survey emphasized residents’ desire to maintain the town’s rural character and limit development. The recommendations in the draft include incorporating new development into natural land forms, promoting renewable energy and affordable housing near mass transit, adopting steep slopes legislation, adopting an aquifer protection ordinance and facilitating private well testing.
In addition to referring the plan to the North Salem and Westchester County planning boards, the Town Board also must do an environmental study of the plan. Supervisor Warren Lucas hopes to adopt it later in the year.