Weekly Feature

2018-06-14 / Front Page

A guide for growth: Comprehensive Plan adopted by all three municipalities

by AMY ROBB Editor

After more than a year of forums, talks between officials and input from residents, a joint Comprehensive Plan has been adopted by the Village of Lancaster, Town of Lancaster and Depew.

On Monday night, Depew became the last municipality to adopt the Comprehensive Plan, which includes a guideline for growth within the three communities.

The plan, which hasn’t been updated since 2000, is designed to further develop a vision for the future of each municipality.

“I was on the committee, so I worked to get all the ideas in place. We did a very good job coming up with the ideas for the plan,” said Mayor Jesse Nikonowicz.

“We’re looking to accomplish a lot of good things for the master plan and beyond. I think the master plan has given us a lot to think about and direction to head in, and I think we’ll do well with it.”

The 108-page plan is divided by chapters, which detail existing conditions and analyses, findings from said analyses, goals for the future, recommendations for each community, how recommendations would be implemented and an environmental review complete with maps of area watersheds, zoning, transportation and overall vision, among other information.

Deputy Mayor Kevin Peterson is hopeful the plan will guide municipalities to take care of long-term issues such as Transit Road, but he would have liked to see representatives from the county and state level at meetings.

“Part of the conversation that came to us was about Transit Road. As I mentioned in one of the earlier meetings, the major players weren’t at these meetings. The state and the county would have much more to say about that than any of the three of us,” added Peterson.

Although Transit wasn’t talked about in more detail, Peterson said he was happy to see proposals put forth to extend the Heritage Trail in Lancaster, bringing it through Depew, and that a grant writer has been able to make joint ventures such as the trail a possibility, with help from funding from multiple levels of government.

Peterson also touched on what people think of when they think of Depew, a street to focus on, or an area that can be considered a “hub” of the village.

“It’s hard to define what the Village of Depew is, as far as a street. It’s easy in Lancaster, with Central Avenue, or even East Aurora, with Main Street, or Main Street in the Village of Williamsville,” said Peterson.

“Well, there really isn’t that situation in Depew. My input was the Veterans Park area. We have a fire department, a post office, churches, we have a nice park there, we’re running activities there, trying to bring more attention to that.”

With Terrace Apartments, Depew’s old high school, at its center, along with the second annual Depew Founder’s Day taking place at the park, this area could become the place people think of when they imagine Depew.

Lancaster Councilman Matthew Walter, who attended Depew’s meeting on Monday, expressed his thoughts on the plan from the town’s perspective.

“At the end of the day, it looks at not only what’s best for the town, but what’s best for the whole community, which is how it should be,” said Walter.

In an email to The Bee, Lancaster Mayor William Schroeder wrote, “The Village of Lancaster is very proud to be a part of the Comprehensive Master Plan and we have devoted many hours into the plans that will guide our village and community into the future. We look forward to being a part of our area’s future growth.

The plan is available for viewing on the town’s website, www.lancasterny.gov. Click on “Town Comprehensive Master Plan” after hovering over the “Government” icon.

View the plan at www.lancastervillage.org and www.villageofdepew.org as well.

The next Depew Village Board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday, June 25, at 85 Manitou St. in Depew. There is always a work session one hour prior to each meeting.

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