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Legislature Receives Comments on Proposed Comprehensive Plan Update

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Legislature Receives Comments on Proposed Comprehensive Plan Update

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Tompkins County Legislature took public comment tonight on the draft 2015 Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan, representing the first full update of the Plan since it was first adopted by the Legislature eleven years ago.  Sustainability, regional cooperation, and fiscal responsibility are overarching principles of the Plan, presented to the Legislature two weeks ago, and the Plan addresses climate adaptation for the first time.

At the half-hour-long public hearing, eleven people spoke, and comments were overwhelmingly positive.  Many praised the Planning Department for its thoroughness in preparing the document and its extensive community outreach, then incorporating opinions expressed into the Plan.  Strong support was voiced especially for the Plan’s continued goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, and many of the speakers urged that the goal be made even more ambitious—to achieve that benchmark perhaps 15 or 20 years earlier.  Three members of the County’s Planning Advisory Board spoke—among them, Chair Martha Armstrong who said she thinks the county can be proud of this Comprehensive Plan, which she said provides a “terrific foundation” for planning for the future.  Ithacan Theresa Alt said that, while she likes everything in the Plan, including its support for bringing economic development that brings good living wage jobs, she would have liked some focus on mental health care and how divisions that exist in the community, such as racial or other types of discrimination, can be addressed.  Joe Wilson, of Dryden, urged Legislators to not be passive, but to use their influence to support the energy and economic development goals contained in the proposed Plan.

The draft Plan, which still must be acted upon by the Legislature, is available for review on the County website at