Sunday, October 18, 2009

Framework for Regional Growth - Erie and Niagara Counties, NY. Part 1. 2006

In May 2006, a bi-county steering committee drafted a document, Framework for Regional Growth. The acknowledged members on page 5 are key development people from both Erie and Niagara Counties. The entities they belong to include chairpersons from each county legislature, as well as planners from both counties.

The consultants listed include the Greater Buffalo Niagara Region Transportation Center (GBNRTC), two county economic development divisions, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, several members of Niagara River Greenway Plan design team, the Urban Design Project, and one Niagara County Chamber of Commerce, the Niagara USA Chamber. There are other organizations and individuals listed, but this will provide a broad general sketch of the document's major stakeholders.

The Framework for Regional Growth mission statement notes that this document
"is to be utilized as a blueprint to support the actions of county and regional agencies relating to the area’s physical development.

It will also be used to inform state and local governments, private developers, and non-profit organizations about the process and actions County government could undertake when making decisions affecting the region’s development.

It will establish a framework for development within the region, and describe policies, programs, and projects that will encourage and facilitate development that is consistent with such framework.

The Plan will help local officials coordinate their decisions so they can anticipate how one decision may affect another.”

Section 1.4 Home Rule Context:
“While the counties review and comment on many local land use decisions, the authority to approve or disapprove proposals is in the hands of the Region’s 64 independent municipal governments—3 cities, 25 towns, and 16 villages in Erie County and the 3 cities, 12 towns and 5 villages in Niagara.”

Flash Notes lifted from the 71 page report
Page 15 - little growth, lots of sprawl, declining population shifts

Page 26 – declining densities, single use development in rural areas and fragmented employment centers has increased the daily vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Increases in VMT results in greater stress on the environment. Pollution from motor vehicles contributes to the declines in air quality, paved surfaces increase urban runoff and threaten water quality, and transportation infrastructure can fragment agricultural and forested lands and wildlife habitat.

2.9 Threats to Natural Systems
page 28 – without careful management, the region places at risk the region’s best agricultural lands, major riparian corridors, wetlands, floodplains, and forests.

to be continued…

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