NEW: LOWV Comprehensive Plan Letter
The League of Women Voters of New Castle submitted a letter to the Town Board on the process followed in developing the draft Comprehensive Plan; the League did not comment on the specific Comprehensive Plan provisions. The letter is reprinted below: June 2, 2017
New Castle Town Board
Town of New Castle
200 South Greeley Avenue
Chappaqua, New York 10514
Dear New Castle Town Board:
The League of Women Voters:registered: of New Castle commends the Steering Committee, New Castle Planning Division, New Castle Town staff, Town Board, PACE Land Use Law Center and others for their considerable time and efforts in developing a draft Comprehensive Plan. This letter summarizes our comments about the process followed in developing the draft Comprehensive Plan. We are not commenting on the specific provisions of the draft Plan, which we understand is currently under review and may be revised. Planning Process and Public Engagement
The League of Women Voters:registered: is a strong proponent of citizen participation and engagement in local issues. The League also believes in using data and analyses to support policy changes.
The planners made significant attempts to engage the community throughout the comprehensive planning process. Specifically: In 2012, a Steering Committee and workgroups were formed, comprised of local residents. During 2012-2014, these groups and others analyzed the 1989 Town Development Plan, identifying strengths and weaknesses and sections either important or no longer relevant and provided feedback. Westchester County Base Studies provided much of the data used in the analyses. PACE Land Use Law Center was hired to help with the process, consolidate the comments and develop a draft document. League members observed many of these initial workgroups. ·
In 2014-2015, numerous public outreach workshops and sessions were held with residents, community groups and merchants. League members attended many of these outreach sessions, and the League sponsored one of them. PACE consultants conducted many of the sessions. The workshops and sessions were held at alternative times of the day and at varied locations, including Gedney Park. In addition, an online survey was conducted for 1½ months. Residents were also provided the chance to offer feedback on the draft Plan via email.
In 2016, the team working on developing the Comprehensive Plan met with all of the Town’s Advisory Boards and Committees, soliciting their input. We understand that the Town Planning Division has continued to work closely with the Planning Board.
The latest draft Comprehensive Plan has been available for residents to review since early 2017 and five public hearings in April and May 2017 were held for public comments. Also, comments by email were submitted during the public comment period. The process followed in developing the Comprehensive Plan was open, transparent and inclusive. The community had numerous opportunities to be heard in the process. Experts were called in to help with analyzing the information, consolidating input and summarizing all findings.
Comprehensive Plan Structure
New Castle’s draft Comprehensive Plan follows the American Planning Association (APA) Comprehensive Plan Standards and Best Practices. The APA standards help communities that are interested in integrating sustainability principles and practices into their comprehensive plans. New Castle strives to be a leader in sustainability and the League supports New Castle’s focus on sustainability.
In conclusion, the League of Women Voters:registered: of New Castle supports the process followed in developing the draft Comprehensive Plan and recognizes that APA best practices were used to structure the Plan.
Sheila Miller Bernson – Co-President
Jennifer Mebes Flagg – Co-President
League of Women Voters:registered: of New Castle