Planning for Penn Yan starts

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
People who attended the Penn Yan Comprehensive Plan session gathered in small groups to brainstorm.

PENN YAN — About 50 people participated in a community workshop Oct. 15 that is part of the process of updating the Penn Yan Village Comprehensive Plan.

Led by representatives from Steinmetz Planning Group, the meeting is part of the initial public outreach effort that will be used to update the comprehensive plan.

John Steinmetz explained that a comprehensive plan promotes the health, safety and welfare of the public, and is used as the background information for a municipality’s policies while also providing the framework for programs and development. He said a comprehensive plan is comprehensive in its scope, not in its detail, and the success of a plan depends on how it is implemented.

Steinmetz said the goal is to update key census data, consolidate major themes, create a user friendly and visually interesting document that prioritizes projects and programs.

Penn Yan’s existing plan is 15 years old, he noted.

After the Wednesday night workshop, Steinmetz staff met with seniors at Penn Yan Academy on Thursday to get the youths’ perspective of the village. They will also be meeting with other community stakeholders.

The consultants are working with a steering committee of village officials and residents on a project that will be complete by the end of 2015.

Over the winter, they will work on the community profile and preliminary vision and policies. They will hold a land use workshop and establish a preliminary land use map.

In the spring, they will present a preliminary plan at an open house. Next summer, they will finalize the preliminary plan and an implementation matrix and complete environmental review documentation. In the autumn of 2015, the village will hold a public hearing about the proposed plan and vote on its adoption.

Steinmetz said the existing plan contains a thorough set of data, is based on sound planning principles, and includes a set of detailed maps.

He also said the 2020 Vision committee, which has been working on a similar project with representatives of the Rochester Community Design Center has “laid some really good groundwork” for a comprehensive plan. He said the final plan will take advantage of the work done for the 2020 Vision plan.

Members of the 2020 Vision group were part of the workshop.

Participants used remote controls to rate a series of illustrations of storefronts, streets, residential buildings and commercial buildings.

They then spent most of the meeting in smaller groups, brainstorming during a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) assessment.

Steinmetz Planning group has created a facebook page and twitter account so people can follow the progress of the project over the coming months.

The facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/PennYan2015ComprehensivePlan.