The LA Group APA NYU Award Recipient for Village of Saranac Lake Comprehensive Plan

Posted by | September 18, 2014 | Community and Regional Planning, News | No Comments

James Martin attends APA NYU Awards Luncheon in Rochester (September 18, 2014).

James Martin, AICP, LA Group Project Manager

James Martin, AICP, LA Group Project Manager

The 2013 Village of Saranac Lake Comprehensive Plan is selected as an award recipient for the category of Comprehensive Planning by the Upstate Chapter of the American Planning Association.

The Plan was developed through extensive public outreach and a thorough and detailed review of the input received.
The close association of the residents throughout the plan’s development was facilitated not only through public input and direct resident-to-resident discussions, but also through the involvement of a dedicated eight member Plan Advisory Committee (PAC) that consisted of a cross-section of Village residents, two Village Trustees and the Village’s Community Development Director. They worked tirelessly meeting weekly for months reviewing public input, reading draft narratives and formulating goals and priority actions. The final structure of the document presents goals and planned initiatives to address the needs of the community on a categorical basis as well as from the perspectives of geographic location within the Village and the context of the past and current landscapes.

APA NYU Award Certificate

APA NYU Award Certificate

The basic construct of the document is its best feature in terms its effectiveness and impact on the Village. Plan initiatives are presented by categorical consideration – each of the eleven (11) categories as provided for in state Village Law are presented and addressed with goals and action steps for each category of consideration. The plan is purposely written with a goal and a series of action steps to act as a step-by-step guide for implementation. In addition to a categorical presentation the plan carries over the geographical presentation of plan initiatives through a listing of strategies for each of the neighborhood areas of the Village.

The quality of effort is displayed in reading the plan. But, it does not end there. The real quality of the plan is a direct reflection of the thorough and inclusive process utilized in its development:

  • Weekly meetings of the PAC
  • Researching and summarizing each plan and regulatory document as a means to understand the background and context of planning in the community
  • Undertaking an inclusive public outreach program that fairly and consistently considered the content of each comment offered
  • A plan development methodology that directly incorporated the PAC into the process ofbreaking down public comment and distilling them into plan initiatives by subject matter and by geographic location.

Each of these are elements of quality that results not just in an attractive document or an interesting read but a true guide that acts to unite residents behind a series of common goals that were formulated from their comments. The result is a document that is directly representative of the residents.

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