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Legislators Learn About Proposed Update to County Comprehensive Plan

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Legislators Learn About Proposed Update to County Comprehensive Plan

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Tompkins County Planning Commissioner Ed Marx provided Legislators a detailed overview of the draft 2015 Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan.  The proposed 2015 Plan represents the first full update of the County’s Comprehensive Plan since it was first adopted by the Legislature in 2004. 

The Plan is available for review at  

The updated Plan, which has been endorsed by the County’s Planning Advisory Board and recommended for adoption by the Legislature’s Planning, Energy, and Environmental Quality, will be the focus of a public hearing before the Legislature at its next meeting, February 17, at 5:30 p.m.  The hearing will take place at Legislature Chambers, located at the Governor Daniel D. Tompkins Bu8ilding (second floor), 121 E. Court Street, Ithaca.

Commissioner Marx noted that the Plan presents a vision for the future of the community based on a set of principles that reflect community values as expressed by the County Legislature. He said three overarching principles addressing Sustainability, Regional Cooperation, and Fiscal Responsibility, are reflected throughout the Plan, with remaining principles related to the economy, housing, and transportation; the environment; climate change; and neighborhoods and communities.  The Plan addresses climate adaptation for the first time, as well as the issue of healthy communities.  It recommends 28 action items for County government to initiate within two years.

According to the principles, recommended in the Plan, Tompkins County should be a place where:

  • the needs of current and future generations are met without compromising the ecosystems upon which they depend;
  • all levels of government work cooperatively to address regional issues;
  • taxpayer dollars are invested in public infrastructure and facilities in the most efficient manner possible;
  • economic prosperity is accessible to all;
  • housing is affordable, safe, energy efficient, and appealing;
  • transportation choices are efficient, affordable, and healthy for people and the environment;
  • natural features and working rural landscapes are preserved and enhanced;
  • water resources are clean, safe, and protected;
  • the energy system meets community needs without contributing additional greenhouse gases to the atmosphere;
  • the entire community is prepared for the economic, environmental, and social impacts of climate change;
  • the built environment promotes healthy, safe, and active lifestyles;
  • new development is focused in compact, walkable, mixed-use communities.

Legislature Chair Mike Lane commended Commissioner Marx and his staff for excellent work in drafting the Plan and said he’s looking forward to hearing comments from the public at the hearing later this month.