Windham's new vision: Housing, recreation, growth | Greene County | hudsonvalley360.com – Hudson Valley 360

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Cloudy with some light snow. High 28F. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 70%..
A few clouds. Low 11F. Winds NNW at 10 to 15 mph.
Updated: February 13, 2022 @ 12:57 pm
The Town of Windham is finalizing its first new comprehensive plan since 2002.

The Town of Windham is finalizing its first new comprehensive plan since 2002.
WINDHAM — Town officials laid out a detailed plan for improving and sustaining the municipality as they finalize its first comprehensive plan since 2002.
The Windham Town Board held a puablic hearing for the proposed plan at its meeting on Thursday and the document will next be in front of the Greene County Planning Board on Feb. 16 for review.
“The (Greene County) Planning Board will have a chance to comment on it,” Windham Town Supervisor Thomas Hoyt said Friday. “We had sent them an unofficial plan earlier to get their comments earlier in the year and we received comments back from them. We incorporated them into our final draft and once we finished our final draft, we sent it down for the 239 official review. Once we get their information, we’ll move forward with adopting the comprehensive plan.”
In the 224-page plan, the town lays out a series of eight goals, beginning with promoting growth that is within the town’s character. The second goal listed is for providing a range of housing opportunities in the town, with expanding recreational opportunities in the town also listed as a priority.
“Housing is a big issue in our community,” Hoyt said. “Affordable housing is a big issue and the other thing that came up through the study is that people want a walkable community. Outside recreation has become a new phenomenon, so people want more outside activities. Things like hiking trails and swim areas. We’ve invested in our town park with kayaks, so maybe we can find additional opportunities for outdoor family recreation.”
An 11-person panel began the process of formulating the plan in April 2020, and the group also collected public input from online surveys to help craft the plan.
“We also had an open house one summer and had our public comment,” Hoyt said. “So we had a lot of engagement from the public. The committee that was put together by the town board was very much into it and they took it seriously. We didn’t rush through it and I believe we did a real solid job for the community.”
In a promotional video the town released to explain the plan to the community, Hoyt contends that the key to any comprehensive plan is infrastructure, including highways, water, sewer and culverts. Hoyt said the town learned from sustaining damage from Hurricane Irene in the August of 2011 how important infrastructure is to the municipality.
Hoyt said the town worked diligently over the last two decades to complete the tasks laid out in its last comprehensive plan.
“Some boxes were never checked and some boxes were checked,” he said. “The biggest box that was checked in the original plan was infrastructure. The community has spent a lot of money on upgrading transportation systems for highways and some walkable areas. Also water and sewer have very much been upgraded in the last 20 years.”
Among the other goals listed in the town’s new plan include protecting open spaces and natural resources, promoting economic development, improving community facilities and infrastructure, improving and connecting transportation networks and preserving local history and the town’s historic character.
The comprehensive plan includes an action plan that identifies immediate, short-term and long-term steps the town will take to implement the plan. For the town’s goal of improving its facilities, the town has an immediate plan to complete the construction of a new ambulance building with a flexible community space for senior and youth programming.
“We’ll get the low-hanging fruit as soon as possible,” Hoyt said. “The bigger objectives in the plan, we’ll start working on them immediately. It may take quite a while to implement those ideas and strategies to accomplish that feat.”
Johnson Newspapers 7.1
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