October 26, 2021

A plan for the future

Comprehensive plan awaits Cortlandville planning board

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Cars travel Monday on Route 13 in Cortlandville. The town may soon adopt its first comprehensive plan in more than 40 years, laying out guides for supporting commercial development while maintaining a rural character.

The town of Cortlandville could soon adopt its first comprehensive plan in more than 40 years, though implementation may take more time, a town official said Monday.

The plan — which provides recommendations and guidance for the town for the next few decades — won the Cortland County Planning Board’s recommendation for approval earlier this month, said county Planning Director Trisha Jesset.

With that, the recommendations and action are pending from the Cortlandville Planning Board, which meets tonight, said Town Supervisor Tom Williams.

“They’re aware of it. They’ve dealt with it. Now they need to see if there are any recommendations to bring it to” the town board, Williams said.

Following adoption by the town board, Williams said a board of town residents and officials will be created to work on implementing items of immediate need.

“It’s going to be a process,” Williams said. “It may take a few years to get it all done.”

According to the plan, items with top priority include:

  • Mapping and adopting Critical Environmental Area zones and reviewing and updating aquifer protections.
  • Updating district boundaries and district language including allowable uses.
  • Creating a new Conservation Residential zone to provide transitions between rural and developed areas.
  • Reviewing and updating the town’s 2018 solar law to make sure it is in line with the plan in regard to town character.

Williams said he expects the plan to be adopted this year.

A final draft of the comprehensive plan was published in December after the coronavirus pandemic delayed action earlier in 2020.

Compared to the 1978 version, the 2020 plan has more recommendations regarding commercial and industrial growth, Williams said.

“In 1978, Cortlandville was much more of a farming community,” he said.

There were some strip malls around Route 13 but the town has developed a lot more commercially over the last two decades, he said.

“I think the focus of the ’78 plan was more with the agricultural side,” he said. “This one embraces the agricultural side, but also realizes we need to focus on development, both industrial and residential.”

Areas like expanding transportation, walkability and updating plans for visual buffers between zones are also included in the new plan.

More on the plan
To view the 2020 comprehensive plan, visit: tinyurl.com/yd3bahfv.

Among its points:

  • Promote and develop gateways at key town entrances on Route 11, Route 13 and Interstate 81’s Exit 12.
  • Reinvest in existing residential areas and protect neighborhoods from incompatible land use.
  • Prepare a neighborhood plan for Blodgett Mills.
  • Identify areas that could benefit from mixed-use zoning.
  • Promote the responsible development of renewable energy sources, and develop and update regulations for solar, wind power and other sources.
  • Promote the expansion of broadband.
  • Earn certifications as a “Climate Smart Community.”