The Town of Lewis received a 2010 Adirondack Smart Growth Grant to prepare the community's first Comprehensive Plan. A committee has been appointed to oversee the development of the plan and work has been underway since April 2012. The final draft has been forwarded to the Town Board.
Draft Plan Available
A public opinion survey was distributed to all Lewis households in April 2012 and 113 surveys were returned (22% response rate). This survey was the first opportunity for Lewis residents to offer opinions, ideas and concerns as work commenced on writing a comprehensive plan for the town. It was intended primarily to gauge residents' level of satisfaction with the community, and to identify issues to be further explored during the development of the comprehensive plan. A complete report of the survey results can be downloaded from the link to the left and in brief the survey showed that residents:
- Are generally satisfied with Lewis today, but feel that the town is not moving in a positive direction.
- Are fairly positive about road conditions and maintenance for vehicular travel, but dissatisfied when asked about walking/biking on town roads or trails.
- Have a perception that housing is becoming less affordable in Lewis.
- Feel that the lack of property maintenance has reached an unacceptable level. This issue appears to be one of the leading factors contributing to respondents' general outlook on the community and its overall direction.
- Strongly expressed a need to attract more businesses to Lewis.
- Enjoy the scenic beauty, access to natural areas, and the privacy that are hallmarks of a living in a rural area.
- Generally want to see the amount of state land, private forestlands, and land being mined remain the same as it is currently.
- Rated the quality of the school system, access to healthcare services and opportunities for outdoor recreation as fair to good. Youth recreation opportunities, availability of childcare, and access to a public library were rated as fair to poor. Respondents rated opportunities for cultural activities and activities for seniors as poor.
- Believe that the lack of town-wide high-speed internet and cell phone services are limiting factors for attracting new residents and businesses to Lewis.
- Generally satisfied with town government, but were less satisfied with the value of services received for taxes paid and the level of participation in community affairs.
What is a comprehensive plan?
We all know that it is a good idea to have a plan before starting to build a home or start a business. The same holds true for communities. A comprehensive plan puts down on paper the hopes, dreams and goals residents hold for their community. It describes how, and at what pace, residents want their community to change physically, economically and socially. A comprehensive plan describes:
- What the community is like today.
- What residents want their community to be like in the future.
- What needs to be done to get there.
- Why various recommendations are being made.
A comprehensive plan is not a local law. It serves as a road map or blueprint, guiding the actions of town government. Other units of government and their agencies also need to consider whether proposed actions or decisions will conflict with a community's adopted comprehensive plan.