Work Begins on Brewster Comprehensive Plan

A committee has been tasked with updating the Village of Brewster Comprehensive Plan.
A committee has been tasked with updating the Village of Brewster Comprehensive Plan.

The process of updating the Village of Brewster comprehensive plan is underway: Chapters have been assigned, a proposal regarding public charettes is on the table and a $7,500 grant will cover some of the cost.

Comprehensive plan committee members met last week. They got a "good handle on the workload" and are aiming to have the first eight of the plan’s 10 chapters updated by the end of the year, according to Brewster village Clerk Peter Hansen. Those sections address the current state of the village, from demographics to the environment and infrastructure to governance.

A professional planner—the board of trustees is expected to select one this month—will update the remaining two chapters, which focus on analysis and recommendations. The planner will rely on input gathered during public charettes, or planning discussions, to do so.

The Land Use Law Center at Pace University has offered to host the charettes, which will likely begin after Jan. 1, 2014. Village officials hope there will be at least five.

“Not only are they good at it, but they’re an independent third party,” Hansen said of the land use center.

Costs for the comprehensive plan update include Pace’s fees, which will likely run between $15,000 and $22,000, and the bill for the professional planner. The village has budgeted $50,000 for the update.

“We're hoping to not use anywhere near that,” Hansen said. “I’m optimistic we’ll achieve our goal.”

A $7,500 grant from Hudson River Valley Greenway, an organization dedicated to preserving, enhancing and developing the Hudson River Valley, will go toward the update. A "sizable" contribution from an anonymous donor is also in the works, according to Hansen.

Comprehensive plan updates typically take between 18 and 24 months to complete, Hansen said. The village is aiming to get the work done in a shorter period of time, perhaps less than 12 months.

After the charettes have been held and the updates are complete, the village will host public hearings. Then the board may consider the plan for adoption.

The updated comprehensive plan, and the zoning changes it outlines, will lay the basis for an urban renewal project that details the redevelopment of Brewster. 

The document was updated about 10 years ago. Community members and village trustees make up the comprehensive plan committee. The next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 13.


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