Project Description & Purpose
Lewis County recognizes the need for a comprehensive and strategic approach to the complex issues we face in the 21st Century. As a region, we need to be able to effectively leverage our assets and overcome challenges in order to continuously improve the quality of life of our citizens. On October 6, 2009, the Lewis County Board of Legislators the County-wide Comprehensive Plan to foster a regional and collaborative approach to addressing these challenges. The County Comprehensive Plan, is our vision and is a framework of policies, goals, and objectives for County government. This framework will set the foundation for County-level decision making over the next 10-15 years. The Plan will also serve as a tool for local municipalities by encouraging a unified vision and purpose.
Topics addressed in the Plan include land use, tourism and economic development, rural and farmland preservation, environmental conservation, recreation, public infrastructure and community resources. Several towns and villages in Lewis County have completed plans and studies in past years. Some have basic zoning or land use plans, while others have adopted full Comprehensive Plans. Beyond the policies and objectives developed for County-level decisions, the County Comprehensive Plan has built upon the previous planning efforts of local municipalities. The County Plan does not supersede local plans and regulations, but rather will serve as an optional tool for localities to implement as they deem appropriate. As New York is a "home rule" state, County Comprehensive Plan components related to town or village issues are simply recommendations for consideration and are not regulatory in nature.
In rural counties, there is often limited staff and resources available to address the complex issues facing the region. Therefore, the Plan seeks to provide guidance and identify tools for implementation, while promoting knowledge sharing and inter-municipal collaboration.