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What you need to know for 01/18/2018

Mayfield officials seek balance in draft comprehensive plan

Mayfield officials seek balance in draft comprehensive plan

Groceries and banking, coffee shops and boutiques are among the features of “resource hubs” envision

Groceries and banking, coffee shops and boutiques are among the features of “resource hubs” envisioned by a town committee putting a new comprehensive plan up for public comment Tuesday.

The need for more housing to attract young families and expanded recreational opportunities to bolster the town’s year-round tourism season are among challenges the plan looks to address over the next 20 years.

Residents are invited to a public hearing on the draft plan at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall, 28 N. School St.

More online

The draft Comprehensive Plan can be downloaded from the town’s website at The website also includes a link where residents can provide comments on the draft.

Resource hubs are envisioned as areas where retail outlets would be situated close to higher-density housing. These hubs would also include visitor information, public restrooms and a community or cultural center — all aspects of development that would cater to both residents and tourists.

Three areas are pinpointed as viable for hubs: acreage around Route 30, a stretch of land near Route 30A and a group of parcels in Vail Mills.

Comprehensive Plan Committee member Mike Stewart said the group endeavored to develop a plan that both supports the town’s aging population and makes it attractive to new families. He said an important goal for a viable community is to avoid getting “too lopsided in any direction,” by ensuring both young and old find adequate services to stay or settle down.

With few major businesses in the town, many people head elsewhere for work each day, a factor that makes economic development an important priority.

The draft plan spells out two areas suitable for commercial development — one in the vicinity of Patch Road and the other surrounding Sand Hill Road. But such development would require careful attention to avoid the loss of the town’s rural character, Stewart said.

“I think it maintains a pretty good balance between trying to maintain the open space, rural atmosphere and build a tax base,” he said.

Sites for shopping and essential services are important for communities, but recreation is another critical focus of the plan, which seeks to capitalize on the town’s year-round offerings. The town borders the Great Sacandaga Lake, which draws guests in the summer, and existing snowmobile trails draw visitors to scenic views of the southern Adirondacks in the winter.

Public access to the lake is confined to a 1,750-foot stretch of shoreline Mayfield maintains as a town beach, however. Adding a new boat launch, public fishing access and walking path are seen in the plan as ways to boost lakeside offerings.

Another goal is working with the state to support expanding snowmobile trails to draw tourists in the winter.

The need for temporary housing like a hotel is another challenge, so promoting the development of apartments, townhouses or condominiums is another goal in the plan.

Once finalized, the plan is expected to open up funding opportunities afforded to municipalities with specific goals spelled out in comprehensive plans.

“It gives us at least an advantage when we’re competing for the limited funding that’s out there,” Stewart said.

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