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New Castle Looks to Update Development Plan

NEW CASTLE, N.Y. – Town Supervisor Susan Carpenter met with the New Castle Planning Board on Tuesday night to ask for help with bringing the town’s developmental plan into 21st century.

“There are a number of things that need to be updated,” said Carpenter. “Some of which are exactly the same. Some of which are simply a question of collecting more data. Some of which will require us to go out and really do an analysis of what’s happened to our town since then.”

The plan, which was last updated in 1989, covers zoning, open space resources and various regulations, all of which Carpenter believes needs to be updated.

“Many of the resources that have been potentially developed for commercial use have ended up to be not used that way and we’ve lost that tax base,” said Carpenter. “So I think we need to do a general overview of what we have and we would like to see happen in the future.”

Along with asking the planning board for input on how to update the plan, she will also be meeting with the conservation board and recreation commission.

“I think it’s certainly called for,” said Planning Board Chairperson Richard Brownell. “23 years is long enough on the plan. As you’ve noted, many changes have occurred."

Carpenter believes the zoning for New Castle’s hamlets will need to be modified. “Look at re-zoning for our hamlets,” said said. “What makes sense and what doesn’t make sense. Look at the way the hamlets are broken up. Do they need to be broken up differently?”

While she hopes the board members will make recommendations of their own, she is also hoping to have citizen participation. “We can’t do re-zoning for our hamlets without having people who use the hamlets participate in the process,” said Carpenter.

In an effort to incorporate more green initiatives into the updated development plan, Carpenter will be working with the sustainability board as well. She also believes school information, such as capacity, should be updated on a regular basis.

“That’s information that certainly shouldn’t wait 23 years, and probably shouldn’t even wait 10 years,” said Carpenter.

While a time frame for updating the plan has not been set, planning board members will look at the plan for necessary updates and hold collective work sessions with Town Planner David Brito in the coming months.

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