banner1gif.gif

Remastering the Master Plan

On the night of March 29, the Master Plan Committee held its kickoff meeting to discuss the creation of a successor to the 1985 City of Rye Master Plan. The City Council has allocated $150,000 to pay for consultants to help the Committee, the Planning Commission, and the Council in the preparation of a new document.

 

By Rye Record Staff

 

On the night of March 29, the Master Plan Committee held its kickoff meeting to discuss the creation of a successor to the 1985 City of Rye Master Plan. The City Council has allocated $150,000 to pay for consultants to help the Committee, the Planning Commission, and the Council in the preparation of a new document.

 

As Mayor Joe Sack noted, even though a lot has happened in Rye over the last 30 years, many of the topics from the old plan are relevant to today, such as parking, downtown development, parks, recreation, flood control, traffic and transportation, etc. And, the Mayor took great pains, literally holding up each one of the planning documents that had been created during the intervening years, to show the work that had been done. “It’s not as if there hasn’t been a lot of planning over the last thirty years,” he noted.

 

The meeting, designed to be the first of many to gather input from the community, heard many speakers relate their concerns and interests. Nick Everett, Chairman of the Planning Commission, cautioned that in drawing up a new master plan, it should be done with some humility, remarking: “The process is to try to make good plans for the future, but you don’t always know what the future will bring.” To start, Everett urged the Committee to update all the data regarding Rye’s demographics, density, housing stock, etc. so that they can make informed decisions. “We need to find where everyone’s concerns are before we begin.”

 

Among those concerns is Rye’s burgeoning school population. Katy Glassberg, President of the Rye City School Board, reminded the Committee that Rye’s schools are “at capacity” and “any further growth puts pressure on the schools in terms of fuller class sizes.”

 

Resident Kelsey Johnson urged the Committee not “to start with fixed assumptions” about what Rye residents want. As an example, she relayed her experience regarding the creation of a sidewalk on Forest Avenue. “When I first started working on the issue of pedestrian safety on Forest Avenue, I was repeatedly told that no one wanted a sidewalk,” said Johnson. “So, I polled the residents and found that there was indeed great support for the idea.”

 

Carolyn Cunningham, who has served Rye in many capacities over the decades, as a Councilmember and member of the Planning Commission, among them, and is currently chair of the Conservation Commission, urged a focus on the needs of the environment and coastal resiliency in a time of rising sea levels.

 

Former School Board president Jim Culyer shared chapter and verse on the difficulties of parking in Rye, particularly as it relates to access to the library. “Sometimes,” he lamented, “it is just not possible for me to bring my grandchildren to the library.”

 

The members of the Committee are Mayor Sack, Deputy Mayor Julie Killian, Nick Everett, and former Councilmembers Andy Ball and Laura Brett, a current member of the Planning Commission.

 


Add comment


Security code
Refresh