Pittsford Comprehensive Plan and Code
What was the Challenge?
The Village of Pittsford needed to update its 2002 Comprehensive Plan and correspondingly perform a review / update of village land use regulations to be better aligned with the multiple societal and local policy changes that have occurred over the last 15 years. Among those are:
- Change in demand and character of retail and food/entertainment businesses.
- Designation of the Village, almost in its entirety, as a local Historic District and creation of a local Historic Preservation Law, further protecting its significance as a local, state, and nationally registered historic district.
- Transformation of the Village’s canal waterfront (Schoen Place) into a popular regional destination, increasing demand for mixed use developments as well as other amenities.
- Lack of regulations regarding short-term rentals (AirBnb), which have become increasingly popular.
- Increasing concern among residents about the walkability and bikeability of the community, reflecting a desire to move away from automobile-centric development.
- Emerging preferences for traditional neighborhood design techniques to preserve and enhance historic town centers like Pittsford Village.
The Village has an extremely involved citizenry and wants to ensure that its residents and business owners were involved in every step of the planning and code writing process. To ensure limited interruption in future investment opportunities, both the plan and code updates had to be completed in a timely manner.
How did Barton & Loguidice provide a solution?
B&L’s planning philosophy consists of crafting plans and codes with the community rather than for the community. In order to accomplish this in Pittsford, B&L planners guided the Village through a robust public engagement strategy that included a community forum, design workshop, and an open house. In addition, we facilitated a series of Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee meetings that ensured the Plan reflected the values of Village residents. The Village Board spearheaded the code update; relying on our staff to facilitate their regular evening or Saturday work sessions to tailor the new code to the Village’s needs and future land use vision provided by the comprehensive plan.
In addition, B&L worked hard to ensure the final documents were much more user friendly. Narrative, charts, and graphics were used to illustrate key concepts and regulatory requirements.
Why was the project a success?
On November 21, 2019, the Village of Pittsford adopted a new comprehensive plan and zoning code that were developed concurrently. This ambitious undertaking consisted of three key elements: (1) A plan that reflects various initiatives that have been completed since the 2002 plan was adopted; (2) The development of a detailed subarea plan for Schoen Place; and (3) a complete revision of Chapter 210 (Zoning) of the Village Code and creation of Chapter 212 (Subdivision Regulations).
The resulting documents provide an unprecedented level of coordination between planning and zoning in the Village and an unparalleled level of protection of its historic character recognizing its designation as a historic district at the national, state, and local level.
Project At a Glance
- Community Planning
- Municipal Services
- 2020 Best Practice Award from the American Planning Association - Upstate New York Chapter
April 14, 2022
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