The Town of Walden is in the process of creating a new land use plan. Previous land use plans for the community and plateau are about two decades old. The ideas expressed in the previous plans may still be relevant, however much of the infrastructure called for was not executed, for example a widened Taft Highway and sewer extensions. Usually, most states update the land use plan about every five years. The recent community debate over a development has highlighted the Town’s need for a more current land use plan to guide future development opportunities along with identifying town priorities.
The purpose of the Town of Walden Plan is to guide municipal decisions on future development and capital improvement projects, as well as serving as the foundation for new or revised development regulations and other policies.
The Town appointed a Land Use Committee comprised of Walden citizens to guide the effort. The Town then selected a team of experienced consultants to help with the process. The lead consultant is Common Ground Urban Design & Planning. They are teamed with KCI Technologies who brings expertise in transportation planning.
The consultant has reviewed past documents and a 2019 community survey. They have had an in-depth tour of Walden, visiting key community assets, and driving the roads and evaluating transportation corridors and intersections. The consultants conducted focus group meetings to gain knowledge about specific areas. We have talked to representatives from our key community non-profits, government agencies, Taft Highway property owners, neighborhoods, and connectivity, mobility, and conservation experts.
The next step is an opportunity for ALL community members to share their thoughts to help shape the Town of Walden Plan . The consultants will lead a community forum, called a Charrette.
A Charrette is an intense brainstorming workshop over a short period. The consultant team will be in town May 15- 18 and there are two key opportunities to provide your ideas and feedback on the consultants work.
We would like a broad array of Walden citizens to attend to share their thoughts and respond to visual materials presented by the consultant. You do not need a strongly held opinion or something you are advocating to attend. We need the busy citizens of Walden from ALL life stages to engage in this effort to make their preferences known. The input from the Charrette feeds directly in the plan, so please mark your calendar and join us for the event.
As we move into the summer, the consultants will begin drafting the Plan with the targeted date of presentation in a public meeting in early August. After receiving feedback on the draft plan, and incorporating needed edits, the consultants will present the final Plan to the Town Board later in the summer or early in the fall in a public meeting. After completing the Plan, the consultants will assist the Town in modifying zoning and other ordinances to align with the guidance in the plan.