Comprehensive Plan Committee

The Town of Hamilton Comprehensive Plan Committee
The Town of Hamilton’s Comprehensive plan is getting an update. The Plan identifies “goals, objectives, guidance and policies for the immediate and long-range protection, enhancement, growth and development of (the Hamilton) community. It provides guidance to town leaders and helps ensure the needs of the community will be met.” In order to keep up with the evolving needs of a town, comprehensive plans must be periodically updated.

Approved in 1999, Hamilton’s Comprehensive plan is being revised to address issues that are important to our community today, and its goals are being updated to reflect the needs and views of residents in response to emerging local and national trends. The Hamilton Town Council, through its recently created Energy Working group, has identified energy issues, such as gas and wind development, as one of many critical matters confronting our community.  Updating the plan is a good way to assess community concerns and shape town policy on these topics, as well as others.

Overseen by the Hamilton Town Council, our Comprehensive Plan Committee (CPC) is composed of local citizens- Travis Dubois, Ian Helfant, Darrell Griff, Harvey Kliman, Greg Owens, Jody Palmer, Carolyn Todd- and town councilors Peter Darby and Chris Rossi.

*Quote from the Town of Hamilton 1999 Comprehensive Plan

Timeline of work:
Phase 1: Data Collection:
Summer 2013 – Completed

Nan and the CPC have gathered data on the town’s demographics with the help of Colgate student Mae Staples, from the Upstate Institute.

Phase 2: Community Outreach to update the Town’s Vision & Goals:
Fall 2013 – Spring 2014 – Completed

The Town of Hamilton’s survey asked the community for input on a wide range of topics effecting Hamilton, from housing to hydrofracking, and more.

The Comprehensive Plan Survey was mailed to Town of Hamilton residents and property owners, and was also available at Earlville and Hamilton Libraries, as well as the Town of Hamilton Office. Community members 18 years and older were invited to fill out and return a survey to the Town Office, either on paper or online. The deadline was extended to December 5, 2013, and over 500 people returned surveys – a better than 30% return rate. Our Visioning Workshop took place on Thursday November 7, 2013, at 7pm at the Poolville Community Center. Over 30 members of the community worked together to create vision statements that expressed their ideas on the best possible future and direction for the town. The Comprehensive Plan Committee is working with the help of planners Nan and Don to analyze Survey and Visioning Workshop results, and to create a final Vision statement and goals for the Town.

Focus Groups were conducted on March 29, 2014, at Hamilton Central School. Over 40 community members with expertise and interest in Agriculture, Economics, Energy, Recreation and Housing were led in discussions of the topics by our planners Nan and Don. Comprehensive Plan Committee members assisted as scribes for the meetings and assisted in taking notes.

Responses and information gathered from the survey, Visioning Workshop, and Focus Groups, will be incorporated into the revised comprehensive plan.

Phase 3 – Data Analysis & Strategy Development:
Spring 2014 – Summer 2015 – Completed

All data and community input collected during the first 2 phases of work was analyzed by our planners. From that information the CPC developed actions and strategies that suggest ways to implement the goals identified by the community.

Phase 4 – Finalizing the Revised Draft Comprehensive Plan:
Fall/Winter 2015 – Completed

The Comprehensive Plan Committee (CPC) hosted a series of 3 town-wide information sessions on the revised plan on September 15, 16, and 17th in Earlville, Hamilton, and Hubbardsville. A formal public hearing to receive community members’ comments on the plan was held on September 26 in Poolville. Written comments were sent to the CPC through the Town Office by October 2, 2015. More than 100 residents participated in the public comment phase, sharing their thoughts either in person at the meetings, or in writing. Thanks to all who participated in the process. CPC is using those comments to revise and edit the draft plan.

Phase 5 – Town Council Review of Plan and next steps:
Summer 2015/Winter 2016 – Completed

The CPC worked with the Planner to see the document through edits, taking into account comments and suggestions gathered at the public hearing. The revised draft was sent to the Town Council for their review. A public hearing, which will provide an opportunity for Town residents to comment on the revised draft plan, is scheduled for Tuesday, September 27 @ 6:30 p.m. at the Hamilton Public Library Community Room. Written comments will be accepted until October 7. The revised draft of the comprehensive plan will be made available to the community before the meeting both online and in hard copy.

After the public hearing, and any subsequent editing, the Town Council submits the plan to County for their review. Then the Town Council sees the document through final steps of adoption by a resolution (a town council vote). The approved plan is filed with the county. In order to make sure the Comprehensive Plan is actually used, the Town Council makes provisions for yearly review and implementation of priority actions from the plan.

Minutes from the public hearing are available from the Hamilton Town Office. Copies of the draft comprehensive plan and related materials are linked below. Hard copies of the draft plan are also be available at the Hamilton Town Office.

Press Release for Comprehensive Plan – August 2015
Map Set for Plan
Comprehensive Plan FAQs
Town of Hamilton Focus Groups Update – April 2014
GIS Maps
Comprehensive Plan 2013 Survey Summary
Comprehensive Plan Community Survey – Fall 2013 – Click here to see the survey.
Town of Hamilton Envisions Future – November 2013
Hamilton Comprehensive Plan Update – July 2013
1999 Town of Hamilton Comprehensive Plan