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North Salem Updates Decades-Old Master Plan

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - As one of its final official gestures of 2011, the North Salem Town Board adopted its new Comprehensive Plan. 

“The planning process took over two years, with another year for the plan to get approval by all the boards," said John White, chair of the Comprehensive Planning Committee.

In addition to monthly meetings, there were multiple consultations with boards and service organizations and a number of public hearings.

“Now as I look back, I see clearly what an amazing journey our team travelled,” said White. It took “hundreds of hours describing in detail where we have been and where we want to go as a community.”

The new plan is illustrated with charts, graphs, tables, maps and color photographs. It covers the Town’s history, demographics, community character and design, land use and zoning, environmental resources, residential development, transportation and public facilities and services. It concludes with a capital plan.

The plan replaces the 1985 Master Plan, which had been considered by town officials unsatisfactory for some time.

“There were two attempts to update it,” said White. “This time, we started from scratch.”

The committee’s decisions were based on many different factors and sources of information. Among them was a survey, mailed to 1,812 property owners in July 2009, representing a wide range of ages, incomes and years of residence. 

An overwhelming number of responders said they choose to live in North Salem because of its rural character. As a result, many of the decisions made by the committee are intended to maintain the town’s existing character while allowing for controlled growth.

This is the first in a series of articles about North Salem’s new Comprehensive Plan. Future articles will present details of the various issues.

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