Syracuse lawmakers set to vote on comprehensive plan, after delays

Mar 13, 2014

After a year of delays and re-writes, Syracuse lawmakers are finally set to vote on a new comprehensive plan for the city.

City planners had been working on the vision for how the city should look in 2040 for two years. Then it went to the council, where lawmakers had a lot of questions and proposed changes, which caused them to continually delay voting on it.

There were "significant" things missing from the draft given to councilor last February, said councilor Jean Kessner, like the land bank and the future of Interstate 81 through the city.

"It wasn’t okay, with me, for us to have a comprehensive plan that didn’t look at the big things facing us comprehensively," she said.

Ten areas were added to the plan, including green space, energy,  climate change, parks and walkability in the city.

Kessner said they'll add things that come up in the future.

All of Syracuse’s future land use and planning decisions will be based on the vision document. 

There will be one final public hearing on the comprehensive plan before Monday’s Common Council session. Then it will be voted on.

Once it’s enacted, that’s when the real work starts, said Andrew Maxwell, the head of the planning department for Syracuse and the county.

"The comprehensive plan, even if passed on Monday, is not complete. It’s not considered complete; it’s something we’re always going to add to," he said. "We’re always going to be considering about to improve it, how to make it better."

Kessner said she expects the plan to be approved by the council.