New Plan Will Seek to Create a Community-wide Vision for City
WPCNR MAIN STREET JOURNAL. Special to The CitizeNetReporter. June 16, 2021:
The City of White Plains has begun the process of updating its Comprehensive Plan, which serves as a guiding document for land use regulations, such as zoning code updates, and capital improvements.
The current plan was prepared in 1997 and updated in 2006, with subsequent amendments in 2012. The new plan will respond to current economic and demographic trends, while also reflecting changing priorities among the White Plains community.
The Comprehensive Plan, together with other planning and land use documents that are regularly updated by the City, including the 5-year Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plan, Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing, White Plains Transit District Strategic Plan, open space inventory planning, and comprehensive affordable housing regulations, provides City decision-makers with a framework to guide sound planning and development decisions.
The Planning Department will work with its consultant, BFJ Planning, on this effort. BFJ has provided professional expertise in planning and related fields since 1980. The firm has extensive experience with community engagement and consensus building throughout the New York Metro region and the Hudson Valley.
Mayor Tom Roach said, “The theme of the Comprehensive Plan, One White Plains, is intended to convey the vision that the plan can and should serve as a means of further bonding us together as one community. With One White Plains, we are looking forward together and thinking holistically about how to ensure the continued vitality of our city.”
One White Plains will investigate a wide range of themes with a goal of strengthening the connections that exist within our community, including: housing, future development, economic opportunities, transportation infrastructure, public health, parks and natural resources, equity and inclusivity, sustainability and climate change.
The process for creating the framework and developing policy recommendations for One White Plains will be guided by a Steering Committee with assistance from City staff and its consultants. The process will also include extensive community engagement to create a sustainable long term vision for the future of the City of White Plains.
The One White Plains process will consist of three phases:
- Phase 1: Imagine (2021)
- Phase 2: Plan (2022-2023)
- Phase 3: Implement (Ongoing)
Phase I: Imagine One White Plains (2021)
As an initial phase, Imagine One White Plains will create the framework for a successful Comprehensive Plan Update, with a focus on the following key outcomes:
- An inclusive community outreach strategy informed by initial outreach to representative stakeholders.
- An analysis of existing conditions based on review of the previous Comprehensive Plan, recent planning documents, policies, and demographic data.
- A defined scope for One White Plains, including a preliminary Vision Statement and Planning Goals based on public input.
- A vision survey and community workshop to help guide the Vision Statement, Planning Goals, and Themes of One White Plains.
Phase II: Plan One White Plains (2022-2023)
Phase II: Plan will kick off in 2022. The second phase of the process will consist of inclusive community engagement strategies to help develop the content of the Plan. Phase II will lead to
creation of a planning document with strategic recommendations to achieve the Vision Statement and Planning Goals to create One White Plains.
The City has created a webpage dedicated to the Comprehensive Plan, www.onewhiteplains.com that will be updated regularly throughout the planning process. The City has also created a kick-off vision survey question to which we are inviting residents to respond, as well as a generic email address: firstname.lastname@example.org to collect general community comments. Both the vision survey question and general comment portal may be accessed through the Comprehensive Plan webpage. Participation is quick and easy.
Council President Nadine Hunt-Robinson said, “As we update our Comprehensive Plan, we are well aware that White Plains is a very diverse city and it is important to engage the myriad community stakeholders in the process, including neighborhood residents, workers, nonprofits, educational and religious institutions, healthcare facilities and the business sector. Our inclusive process will create one vision for ‘One White Plains.’”
Council Member Justin Brasch said, “As White Plains grows, I am thrilled that we will be kicking off a thorough update of our Comprehensive Plan. We need a vision to guide us in the 21st Century. This process must be as inclusive as possible, all voices need to be heard. With proper planning we can keep White Plains as the livable, safe, diverse and economically strong city we all love.”
Council Member John Martin said, “As Chair of the 1997 Comprehensive Plan and the 2006 Update, I am particularly aware of the critical importance of having a Comprehensive Plan that is updated and useful to city leaders and citizens in guiding the next phase of our City’s future. Our existing, citizen driven Plan has been instrumental in guiding us to where we are today and I look forward to a broad based effort in creating this new Plan.”
Council Member Vicki Presser said, “I hope that everyone in the White Plains community will take note of the City’s determination to update our Comprehensive Plan. The Plan will serve as a blueprint for the future of White Plains and the well-being of its residents, taking into account the many components of a healthy, thriving municipality. But in order to succeed, it needs all of us to engage in the planning process, through an array of public outreach and community input opportunities that will be available. Please watch for your chance to be heard.”
Council Member Jenn Puja said, “I am looking forward to an inclusive and thorough comprehensive plan update process. By utilizing various methods to obtain suggestions and opinions, thoughtful and strategic input will be generated. I look forward to working along with community groups, all neighborhoods, and city partners in providing a variety of opportunities to capitalize on the information our residents would like to share. The future of White Plains is in reach and I am confident that our entire city will come out of this process with a clear, comprehensive and complete vision for years to come – one that benefits our community, our residents and future generations.”