The Village of Haverstraw is looking ahead and updating its plans for the future. The village has begun a year-long effort to update its comprehensive plan for the first time in more than 25 years and the local waterfront revitalization program (LWRP) document for the first time in 13 years. The planning process will be led by a Joint Comprehensive Plan and Waterfront Advisory Committee, who will kick off a series of public meetings intended to gather input from the public at the end of January.  The Committee is inviting input by Village residents, land owners, business owners and other stakeholders at an upcoming meeting scheduled for Wednesday January 30 from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Haverstraw Community Center, 50 West Broad Street (also accessible via Partition Street at the rear of Haverstraw Elementary School) in the Village of Haverstraw.

The comprehensive plan guides growth in the community by establishing how land should be used throughout the village, what building sizes and densities are appropriate, what roadway improvements should be made, what community facilities are required and other matters of public policy. The LWRP is a similar document that guides both local and state actions and is focused on the use of land and water resources along the Hudson River. Both efforts will build on the earlier plans while adding current economic and demographic data, up-to-date coastal and sea level rise information, and new approaches to environmental sustainability. Both plans are receiving generous support from the State of New York Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of State.

“This is really the next step in improving the village,” said Michael Kohut, Village Mayor. Fifteen years ago, the village began a process of transformation that began with the redevelopment of the waterfront at Harbors. That redevelopment brought several improvements to the community, including the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry, Main Street façade improvements, and affordable housing. Unfortunately, the 2008 recession took the winds out of the sails. The village has been able to get back on track since then with a number of projects. Mayor Kohut points to the recent streetscape improvements as proof that the village is moving forward, “We are really serious about improving the community for all residents.” He continued, “It is time to regroup, look at where we are, and figure out the right way to continue the transformation. We have big opportunities with the Chair Factory, Hornicks, and redevelopment of some of our aging housing.” The Mayor referred to a large vacant waterfront parcel with exceptional Hudson River views and a large vacant industrial property within the Village. “We want to reach out to Haverstraw and make sure that we all are working toward the same goal.”

The Village’s Committee will be working with a multi-disciplinary consultant team led by Nelson, Pope & Voorhis, LLC (NPV), a planning firm that has served Haverstraw since the mid-1990s and brings significant knowledge of comprehensive planning throughout the region. NPV is joined by Nautilus International Development Consulting, Inc. with both regional and international expertise in sustainable development and waterfront revitalization, and Edward M. Weinstein Architecture + Planning with experience in the Village’s current façade and streetscape projects.

“We are especially interested in engaging people and groups that feel they may not have a voice in government,” emphasized Mayor Kohut. “We want the plans for Haverstraw to benefit all of its stakeholders.” A dynamic public outreach process will take place over the winter and spring, including four public workshops and two design charrettes, with sessions devoted to transportation, land uses, downtown, sustainability, climate change, and the waterfront. Those will be followed by public hearings in the fall.

Officials indicated the first step in the process is to identify issues, understand the community’s vision for the village, and develop goals and objectives that will help bring people together around shared priorities for the future. The upcoming January 30 meeting is intended to accomplish this.  The consultant team will be on-hand to help introduce the project and listen to your comments. Spanish Language translators will be available. All are welcome and encouraged to attend and contribute.

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