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Next Steps Ahead for Town Comprehensive Plan

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - Now that the Town Board has adopted the new comprehensive plan following an exhaustive three-year process, town officials are preparing to set priorities on implementing the recommendations.

Planning Board Chairwoman Cynthia Curtis is set to meet with the Town Board at its next work session January 24 to discuss how next to proceed.

"I need direction from the Town Board," Curtis said. "I'm making a list of all items that need attention and how they want to prioritize them and set goals for 2012 and 2013."

The plan passed unanimously by the Town Board in December is the town's first in 26 years. The document studies land use and zoning, environmental resources, residential development, community character and design, demographics and other issues.

More than 1,800 residents had input in the process as part of a survey, with many mentioning their fondness for the town's rural character, something that Council member Amy Rosmarin said was vital to preserve.

"We've been saying let's get it passed," she said. "Now we need time to discuss what we want to do next and how to implement it."

One of the changes the Town Board will tackle is adhering to the county's affordable housing rules following the much publicized and controversial federal housing settlement. The board will also be discussing allowing more flexibility for commercial uses on Fields Lane.

Curtis said the Planning Board will also be looking for some clearer definitions in the zoning ordinance.

"The list won't be that long, which is good," Curtis said. "I don't think anything will take years. It's more of establishing the order of the list and determining if it will take one month or six months."

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