Town of Union Comprehensive Plan



Town of Union Public Workshop
Town of Union Comprehensive Plan

PRESS RELEASE

Media Contact:  Emma Falkenstein, MRB Group: emma.falkenstein@mrbgroup.com

Date:  May 20, 2024

TOWN OF UNION
 Smart Growth COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
 Planning effort to create a roadmap for Town operations and development


 The Town of Union is undertaking a comprehensive planning process at a critical time in the community’s history. The State of New York Smart Growth Comprehensive Planning grant program provides the opportunity for the Town to create a sustainable, resilient, and forward-looking plan to guide growth and development in Union over the next twenty years.  Funding for the plan is being provided by the New York State Department of State under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund.

Comprehensive plans allow municipalities and community members to collaboratively target challenges and leverage their assets to create implemental development plans for their communities. Strategic comprehensive planning processes incorporate robust and authentic public engagement in the pursuit of actionable strategies to guide long-term community planning. The NYSDOS Smart Growth grant program allows communities to undertake comprehensive planning processes with a specific focus on utilizing Smart Growth Principles. Smart Growth is an inclusive approach to planning and community development that covers a range of principles with the goal of making communities more livable, economically efficient, environmentally sustainable, and overall, more resilient. Principles such as mixed land uses, green infrastructure, social diversity and integration, walkable/bikeable neighborhood design, variety of mobility choices, and stakeholder collaboration are some of the foundational aspects of Smart Growth planning.

Union’s Smart Growth Comprehensive Planning process kicked off in January and is led by a Steering Committee comprised of local residents, business owners, elected officials, and Town staff. The planning process is guided by a team of consultants led by MRB Group of Rochester, NY, and includes Maverick & Boutique of Ashfield, MA. The consultants, over the next 7 months, will continue collaborating with the Steering Committee as well as reaching out to community leaders and community organizations to create a vision, values, goals, and an implementable action plan to guide future policy and development in the Town.

The Town is committed to a collaborative planning process with multiple opportunities for community engagement. The Union Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan will host its first Public Workshop on June 18th at 5:00 pm at Highland Park Recreation Center. The session will be facilitated in a drop-in format and include an overview of the planning process as well as interactive station boards. Residents and community stakeholders are encouraged to stop in and provide feedback on plan elements such as the community’s vision statements, planning principles, and policy areas, as well as any other input that may enhance the planning process. In conjunction with the Public Workshop, Union will launch a joint community survey with the Village of Johnson City, as they are also completing a Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan.

Supervisor Mack states that “an updated quality comprehensive plan is a must for communities. The Town's commitment to a written plan demonstrates vision from our leaders and residents regarding the future of our town.”

Union’s Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan will serve as a decision-making framework and tool to accelerate the community’s progress toward a shared vision of the future. For more information on plan activities or to provide input on plan elements, visit the Town website at www.townofunion.com

New Release: Comprehensive Planning Process Kick-Off