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Comprehensive Planning

Comprehensive planning in Shandaken

    How the Current Draft Comprehensive Plan Matches Up
    Against What the Public Asked For

    Please consider the following issues when you come to speak at the comp plan public hearing on Wednesday, April 6 at the Phoenicia Elementary School, 7pm. Come early!

    Hamlets and "Designated Hamlets"

  • Survey results: Concentrate growth in hamlets, preserve rural character and open space along 28.
  • New Comp Plan: Change zoning law to expand hamlet designations to include previously non-hamlet areas, and allow more commercial growth along 28.

    Reliance on Tourism for Economic Development

  • Survey results: Diversify economy beyond tourism. Encourage arts, crafts, e-commerce, cottage industry, small business. Limit size of large scale development.
  • New Comp Plan: Cuts out phrase "large scale terrain altering development generally discouraged" Expands commercial growth outside hamlets on undeveloped large parcels. Emphasis on tourism, primarily Belleayre ski area and tourist railroad.

    Cell Towers instead of Cell Service

  • Survey results: Locate unobtrusive "stealth" cellphone antennas to provide widest possible state of the art cellphone coverage and maximize town tax revenues.
  • New Comp Plan: Build tall cellphone towers, even on private land that generate no tax revenue for town. Many hollows will still go without cellphone coverage.

    Emphasis on Expanding Multimodal Transportation and Riverwalks

  • Survey results: Strong support for "rail to trail" use of railroad right of way and stream side parks. Hiking, biking, cross-country ski and horseback riding rated highest priority.
  • New Comp Plan: Emphasis on expansion of tourist railroad that would severly limit public use of railroad right of way.

    Traffic, Signs, and Stop Lights

  • Survey results: Improve public transportation to reduce traffic congestion and safety hazards. Preserve rural scenic driving experience along 28.
  • New Comp Plan: Increase traffic volume. Build more highway surfaces, intersections, roundabouts, lights and signage.

    Disaster Plan & Facilities

  • Survey results: Improve disaster readiness of emergency services. No new expensive municipal building projects.
  • New Comp Plan: Build expensive new town shelters and facilities. Who will pay?

    Comprehensive Community Center

  • Survey results: Expand recreational opportunities for swimming, ice skating, and hiking, etc. No big new buildings proposed.
  • New Comp Plan: Build expensive new town government mall at taxpayer expense.


  • Survey results: Encourage affordable housing for residents.
  • New Comp Plan: Includes language that could make the town responsible to provide housing for transient and seasonal low wage workers that new commercial development brings in.

    Clear cutting and Steep Slopes

  • Survey results: Enforce the town's current zoning laws that limit development on fragile hillsides, steep slopes, wetlands and hilltops.
  • New Comp Plan: Weaken the zoning laws to allow more and denser development.

    Outdated and Inaccurate Data

  • Survey results: Recommends more studies to get accurate up to date data. A main concern: Traffic congestion and hazards right now.
  • New Comp Plan: Uses old, misleading statistics which make it appear that 28 is underused and could sustain huge traffic increases without harming community. Encourages more traffic congestion.

Information about the process

New York State guidelines and regulations

Plans of other New York towns