"CITY IN THE COUNTRY" under threat as basis for Saratoga planning
The "City in the Country"--the unique vision that has powered the economic, cultural, and environmental success of Saratoga Springs--is under threat.
At the July 15 meeting of the Comprehensive Plan Committee, the consultant unveiled a draft of the vision for the city's Comprehensive Plan that represents a worrisome departure from our current vision (adopted in 2001). A comparison of the current vision and the consultant's draft of the 2013 vision (click on thumbnails for details) reveals several key changes that Sustainable Saratoga believes threaten to undermine the unique qualities upon which Saratoga's success has been built.
- All the meat that made "city in the country" real has been removed.
- "Sustainable development"--an explicit and central planning principle in the 2001 vision--is no longer mentioned or defined.
- All references to the critical "outlying area," commonly known as the Greenbelt, have been deleted.
- The draft implicitly opens up the Greenbelt to changes that could lead to dense development and sprawl that will compete with our successful downtown.
See our website for periodic updates about the Comp Plan revision process.
What can you do? If you believe that the Vision Statement ought to (1) emphasize the "City in the County" by retaining its definition and location and (2) endorse the overriding philosophy that sustainability should guide Saratoga's future planning, we urge you to express your views in any of the following ways:
• Let us know what you're thinking by emailing us at: email@example.com
• Leave a comment on the www.engagesaratoga.com website
• Send an email to the Comp Plan Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saratoga Springs has thrived by adhering to a "city in the country" planning concept, clearly defined in our 2001 Comprehensive Plan and in both the 1994 and 2002 Open Space Plans, all of which were adopted by City Council. Sustainable Saratoga believes that the changes introduced by the consultant into the draft vision reduce "city in the country" to a vague slogan. By removing all the concrete definitions of how Saratoga Springs specifically uses the term, the 2013 draft vision considerably weakens "city in the country" as a planning standard. We do not believe that will be good for the future of the city.
Remember, the Comp Plan Committee meeting on August 19 at 6 p.m., at the Recreation Center on Vanderbilt Avenue, is open to the public. The Comp Plan Committee also agreed to hold a meeting in September specifically to receive open public comments -- details should be available soon.
Mail: Sustainable Saratoga
PO Box 3271
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866