COLONIE— Members of the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee met last week to further outline the public outreach and information gathering strategies they plan to use as the process moves forward.
The committee has focused on nailing down how to best involve the public in creating an updated comprehensive plan, which will have a large affect on the town for years to come. While data gathering is still in the development stage, committee members and the public were able to look at a progress roadway jurisdiction map of the town and a chart that displayed development approvals since 2006 during the Wednesday, Oct. 19 meeting.
Michael Welti, senior land use planner at Barton and Loguidice, the engineering firm that is overseeing the planning process, said during meeting that the committee will hold five meetings around town to try and gauge what some of the priority issues for residents are.
The meetings will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. as follows:
• Nov. 10: Forts Ferry Elementary School
•Nov. 29: LoudonvilleElementary School
•Dec. 1: Shaker Junior High School
•Dec. 7: Lisha Kill Middle School
•Dec. 14: The Crossings
At the meetings, the plan is for the public to respond to specific questions about the town, such as what they enjoy about living in Colonie. Welti said the intention of these meetings is to identify which problems most stand out to people, allowing the committee to pinpoint what it should prioritize going forward. He said he has had success with this approach before.
The committee is also considering teaming up with Siena College to conduct a survey which could cost the committee anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.
One hurdle the committee must overcome is the size and population of the town. At about 82,000 residents, Colonie is the largest suburb in Albany County and even though the room has been close to full at most of the Comprehensive Plan Review meetings thus far, usually the audience is stacked with the same people. While Welti said he would like to see from 50 to 75 people at the location-centered meetings, the committee is still coming up with different ways to reach people.