Draft plan highlights downtown, employment
PENN YAN--The village of Penn Yan has an official draft of their new comprehensive plan available for review by the public. The 69 page document was developed over the course of two years, including the comments and opinions of community members through surveys and public information sessions. The plan highlights the top five priorities for the village going into 2025, which include filling vacancies in the downtown area and fostering additional employment opportunities. The goals also include attracting additional commercial and retail development, improving the appearance of downtown and preserving and rehabilitating historic buildings.
The plan has an extensive list of all the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to community growth. Among the strengths listed are Keuka Lake and the outlet trail, tourism, a walkable downtown, agriculture, viticulture, low electric rates and historic and architectural value. The weaknesses listed include poor housing conditions, high poverty rates, lack of housing choices, limited public transportation, the presence of drugs including heroin, a lack of activities for seniors and youth, limited shopping and restaurant options, and few full-time living wage jobs.
The opportunities the plan lists include the potential for development of the outlet, creating upper-floor residential units downtown, developing waterfront access and activities, a swimming program, becoming a year-round tourism community and creating design standards for development. However, it also lists several threats, such as population decline, a growing low-income community, a decreasing middle class, taxes, drug use and the loss of the younger population.
"When asked if village residents would be supportive of paying higher electricity rates for new development, respondents indicated that they would be in support for commercial or retail operations, but not industrial or residential uses," according to the draft plan.
Lake Street was highlighted in the plan, which listed better building appearance and upgraded sidewalks and crosswalks as some of the desired improvements. Residents also indicate they wanted to see more landscaping and street trees, along with better signage.
The entire plan can be seen on the village website at http://www.villageofpennyan.com/pdf/Penn_Yan_Comprehensive_Plan_Sept_2016.pdf. There will also be a public hearing on the plan Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Penn Yan Middle School auditorium.