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Village suggests development priorities

WATKINS GLEN—The Watkins Glen planning board discussed priorities for the village’s master plan, at the Wednesday, Dec. 15 monthly meeting.
A master plan is a community’s goals for development. The village board put the planning board in charge of creating Watkins Glen’s. At the previous meeting, planning board chairperson Joe Fazzary asked the board to list areas within the community to focus on in the plan.
“It will make the framework for the kind of village we want to see,” said Fazzary.
Board members had a number of overlapping suggestions. The areas include lakefront development, natural resources, senior housing, low income housing, transportation, traffic flow, health and rescue, potential for village growth, youth services and maximizing the tourist attraction of the state park.
One idea that was mentioned more than once, was the available space in the village. Board member Kevin Smith said, “we’re landlocked with the property we have. There’s the marsh to the east and the hills to the west.”
Since many trucks drive through Watkins Glen, the board mentioned how to improve the traffic flow. Board member Amedeo Fraboni also talked about transportation within the village.
“How to transport someone from one end of town to the other,” he said.
Fazzary added the committee would get more information from the 2010 census to help in the master plan. He explained that in the future, the board will also hold public hearings and target groups for involving the public. The planning board will continue to talk about the master plan at monthly meetings which are open to the public.
In other business:
The planning board gave the final site plan approval for Schuyler Hospital’s office and the Watkins Glen Fire Department’s Wood-Tex storage structure. Public hearings were held for both projects, but no one commented. Fazzary explained neither was very controversial.
Watkins Code Enforcement Officer Gordon Wright said the Harbor Hotel expansion project has been put on hold until next year. He said the property owners had wanted to start construction in November of this year. If there are no changes to the already approved plan, it will not need to come before the planning board again. Wright added the approval might need an extension, though.
The next village planning board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m.


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