WILSON – The Village Board will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Thursday to invite comments on a proposed master plan for the village and town – a document that has not been updated in nearly a half-century.
The hearing will be followed by the board’s regular meeting in Village Hall, 375 Lake St.
No public comment period was held when the Town Board held its public hearing regarding the same document Jan. 16.
When the new comprehensive plan is deemed complete in coming weeks, it will be jointly adopted by both boards.
“The town and village developed a comprehensive plan in 1966, so this is long overdue,’’ said Wendy Salvati, a planner with Wendel Duchscherer of Amherst, the consultants hired to work with Wilson officials and residents to create the document. “It makes sense to have a plan for the future.”
“Not much has changed in the town since the last comprehensive plan, and it wants to maintain its rural character, but the village is truly the town’s center and has been successful in seeing the new brewery open and the reuse of that building, for instance,” Salvati said, referring to a former cold storage building.
“That area of the village has potential, as well as the area of the town closest to that area for light industrial development, if that is what they would want to happen there in the future,” Salvati said. “If development does occur in the town, they want it close to the village so that it is done in a more sustainable manner.”
Salvati commented that development in the village “has been somewhat constricted, and they wanted more mixed-use, where you might have a residence upstairs in a building and commercial use downstairs. There is now more flexibility in the codes.”
Deputy Mayor Bernard “Bernie” Leiker agreed that the village wants to expand its commercial area, its “Main Street,” which actually is Young Street in Wilson.
“The State of New York is excited about including residential and commercial properties together,” he said. “Promoting the blending of those two types of development is a high priority.”
Town Supervisor Joseph Jastrzemski said, “This is a document we can use in seeking state or federal funding for projects in the future. Future leaders will use this as a road map as to how we want to see the town grow. We may want to create a small subdivision or an industrial base, and we want to continue to protect our farmland and farm industry.
“I’ve always said, ‘The town and village need to work jointly,’ ” he said. “The town is the village, and the village is the town.”
Salvati said the new document explores the importance of “protecting historic resources in Wilson and capitalizing further on tourism, which takes you right to the wonderful waterfront. We determined where public access is and looked for ways to improve access from the village to the waterfront and from Wilson Tuscarora State Park to the village.”
She also said the town and village created an advisory committee with representatives from both municipalities, which met regularly over the past couple of years “to review and comment” on the ongoing documentation.
“They were very, very helpful and made sure that this is not our plan as consultants, but it is the community’s plan,” she said.