Town of Holland
REGIONAL COMPREHENSIVE PLAN NOTES
Plan Prepared by Wendel Duchscherer Architects & Engineers
- preserve community character
- properly manage growth and development
- promote increased and diverse economic activity
- improve opportunities for recreation
- properly manage traffic and transportation
- preserve and protect significant environmental resources
Expanded Holland Goals & Objectives
- maintain efficient and responsive fire and emergency services
- promote the revitalization of the central business district to increase spending and commercial activity within the Town
- protect farmers from conflicts and nuisances caused by new residential and businesses development locating near active farms, croplands and grazing lands
- protect the viability of well-established farming activities, and discourage non-agricultural uses on prime agricultural lands or forestry areas
- alleviate traffic congestion problems in the central business district
- promote preservation of natural vegetation on private lands being developed to discourage clear cutting
Most recent efforts for region (in terms of any type of comprehensive plan or study):
- Holland Master Plan Update (adopted in 1994, update of 1972 Holland Master Plan)
Summarized Needs/Desires in Holland
- Traffic problems in hamlet need to be resolved
- residents would like to see Holland remain the way it is (preserve the existing way of life)
- would like to improve ability of residents to enjoy open space features of Town without impacting property owners
- growth should be targeted in hamlet area
- agriculture is an important component of the community, but there is not a consensus of what should be done to help maintain this resource
Zoning Issues in Communities
- Holland: due to limited growth pressures, any code revisions would be long term plans, and only be implemented when necessary. Existing Comprehensive Plan meets the needs of the Town and fits fairly well with this regional plan
Findings and Recommendations
- Elma, EA and Aurora would be considered second ring suburban communities (transition between first ring of suburbs and rural), and Wales and Holland rural communities.
- Holland under little development pressure only from Rte 16 corridor
- economics of farming and the lack of a next generation of farmers are resulting in a loss of active farmland in Wales and Holland.
- topography (especially in Holland) is a limiting factor for developing the region commercially
Preserving Community Character: Holland Recommendations
- preserve community character by "keeping Holland the way it is"
- use tools that other towns can use, but to a lesser extent (non-traditional development techniques like open development areas, overlay districts and cluster development, and adopt and enforce rural development guidelines)
- institute appropriate programs to preserve important areas of farmland and prime farm soils through a purchase of development rights program (PDR), conservation easements, etc. Work with County and/or other communities and draft an agricultural protection plan.
- limit sewer extensions to manage growth
- adopt a right-to-farm law
- adopt historic preservation standards or guidelines to preserve and protect locally significant historic structures
- identify and manage other significant viewsheds in addition to Rte 16
- reassess residential lot sizes in certain communities to manage growth.
Management of Future Growth and Development: Holland Recommendations
- recently awarded a $250,000 grant to help revitalize downtown.
- protect industrial area from infringement from non-compatible uses.
- improvements in infrastructure should be focused in this area (may need to bring water supply from areas outside of town)
- consider streetscape improvements along Rte 16 (Work with NYSDOT)
- target improvements for accessibility, sidewalks and walkability
- parking issues must be considered in all roadway projects, and in development projects
- encourage housing programs and zoning codes that allow mixed uses to keep a vibrant residential mix in the area
- farmers do not want interference in their land rights. Town should experiment with loosening up of the zoning requirements to allow farmers to make ends meet with creative uses. Consider PACE and limited purchase of development rights (PDR) program. Join with other surrounding communities to do a farmland protection plan.
- adopt rural development guidelines that will ensure roadside development will occur in a way that won't destroy the character of the town
- update cluster development regulations to include standards for smaller subdivisions. Limit lot size reductions to fairly large lots, keep creative layouts of lots to preserve open space
- highway business district along Rte 16 may need slight modifications to ensure the preservation of rural character, aesthetics of the area and access management issues. Could be achieved with a zoning overlay
- look at revising existing zoning to include only one district to eliminate the confusion and redundancy in the zoning. (Rural-Residential/Agricultural classification and Conservation Open Space classification have the same bulk regulations and essentially the same permit uses)
Economic Development: Holland Recommendations
- limited by topography, utilities and available appropriately-zoned land
- tenant for the former Fisher-Price plant has been secured, filling the largest industrial vacancy)
- 1994 Holland Master Plan update recommends creation of an industrial park adjacent to existing industrial area in hamlet with a new access road from Route 16. But access road must cross Cazenovia Creek, making it expensive. Without new road access, any additional industrial development will be small-scale and incremental
- health and vitality of hamlet downtown district should be a priority.
- recommend a more detailed "hamlet revitalization" project to explore market strengths and weaknesses, potential market niches and issues affecting central business district in more depth.
- institute extensive outreach campaign to ensure all eligible parties are aware of all available programs from the grant and how they can take advantage of them.
- formulation of a local committee that takes responsibility for overseeing the process for downtown revitalization programs. Include business and property owners, government officials. Focus: monitor what is going on, identify problems and issues, and continually work to come up with appropriate solutions. Contact business and property owners to determine their needs and concerns.
- consider targeting the 485-b exemptions on business improvements to help support upgrades and improvements in hamlet area.
- consider target grant and loan programs to assist in upgrading the retail inventory while preserving the unique architectural character of hamlet.
- first priority: business support and retention, but targeted business recruitment/development should also occur. Provide a mix of businesses and services that meet local needs.
- investigate national groups that help support small towns (National Main Street Center of the National Trust for Historic Preservation)
- encourage pedestrian traffic, will also support business development by encouraging more activity on the street
- work with NY State Department Of Transportation on incorporating roadway design features that will support hamlet. (traffic-calming features and aesthetics)
- retail development concentrated in hamlet
- support residential development (encourage apartments over businesses, infill residential development) and additional recreational-oriented economic activity
- continue participation in Southtowns Water Consortium
- consider a site study for its industrial parcels (would address access, site layout, extension of utilities, etc., and present scenarios showing how to develop the sites(s) in the most effective manner)
- support agriculture, consider passing a right-to-farm law
- investigate agri-tourism
- consider more creative and proactive means of supporting farming as an economic activity
Recreational Opportunities: Holland Recommendations
- one town park in Holland, development by Town in early 1990s, town is considering allowing passive recreational use for the four forests maintained by County in Holland
- not as great a demand for sports facilities as in Elma and Aurora. More focused on outdoor activities like snowmobile trails, could serve recreational and economic purposes
- some conflict between trail users and private landowners; dirt bike and ATV users are sometimes using private lands and create noise problems
- hills in Holland provide ample opportunities for hiking and biking. Needs to capitalize on existing snowmobiling activities. Existing link to Finger Lakes Trail that runs through Town should be revitalized for multi-season use. Snow trails should be mapped and promoted
- trails in Holland should be rural in nature and accommodate uses such as horseback riding
- trail system needs to be carefully planned to avoid conflicts among users; investigate feasibility of providing trails for dirt bikes and ATVs or adopt standards to regulate these uses
- provide access at identified locations along creek corridors for passive recreation and scenic viewing; potential trail linkage between Elma and Wales
- capitalize on winter recreation tourism
- ensure adequate recreational facilities for youth
Community Vision: Holland Vision Components
- major features: very rural agrarian nature of Town (concentration of farms in central and eastern portion of town), steep slopes, east branch of Cazenovia Creek, Hunters Creek and Buffalo Creek stream corridors, Rte 16 highway corridor, which extends from Wales Center and Holland hamlets
- much of town to be designated for agricultural and open space protection. Any development should be low-density residential in nature (minimum lot size of two acres or larger) and care will be taken to protect and enhance agricultural uses.
- medium density residential development should be concentrated around hamlet where public services are available to support it and where retail and commercial services exist
- goal: revitalize commercial activity in hamlet center to make area prosperous and provide greater benefit to surrounding community
- restrict commercial uses along section of Rte 16, between Cazenovia Creek and North Canada St, to agrarian support services and uses and other retail uses that would not compete with hamlet. Forethought should be given to managing the number of curb cuts to Rte 16 over long term
- consideration should be given to establishing a historic district in hamlet
- area in hamlet along railroad corridor has been designated for light industrial development, complementing existing industrial facilities to northwest
- on-road trail should be developed that links hamlet and middle school with Wales Hollow, Emery Park and other parts of Wales and Aurora
- buffers around creek corridors should be maintained and required as properties are cited for development
Implementation: General Section
- first step is to designate an Advisory Committee as entity(s) responsible for implementation of document; establish biannual review to determine progress and continue to review and update plan
- Priority 1 Actions: should be completed first and are anticipated to take place in first two years after adoption
- Priority 2 Actions: can take place after a particular priority 1 action takes place or as the community desires in the years 1-5 after plan adoption.
- Priority 3 Actions: either long-term actions (those that may or may not be necessary depending on future scenarios, or are alternative ideas for certain priority 1 or 2 actions (that may not achieve desired results). Considered "Tool Box" actions
Town of Holland Implementation
- Priority 1 adopt plan and advisory committee; establish annual budget for implementation of Regional Comprehensive Plan
* zoning issues: COS and RA zoning districts should be combined into one district
to eliminate confusion and redundancy in zoning ordinance. Retain name RA (rural
residential/agricultural). Review allowable uses in this zoning district to discourage
location of non-agricultural land uses in areas of prime farmland;
- consider provisions in zoning ordinance to allow development flexibility based on density;
- revise clustered development regulations to require lower minimum acreage and focus on small subdivision activity and road frontage developments;
- revise Planned Unit Development regulations to reduce number of required units per development to allow for easier use of regulations;
- make minor revisions to commercial zoning outside hamlet to target appropriate uses that do not compete with hamlet business district;
- Prepare zoning overlay for Rte 16 to guide development consistent with rural nature of area (including aesthetics, access management, landscaping and setback standards);
- reassess residential lot sizes and/or adjust lot frontage requirements in certain areas to better manage growth and preserve large tracts of land;
* other codes and regulations: utilize open development areas, particularly along
Rte 16 and other areas with significant views and environmental resources
(subdivision technique could be combined with clustering);
- amend site plan review and subdivision regulations to allow for more effective assessment of transportation impacts to region;
- through proper site plan review, encourage reuse and redevelopment of existing structures, consistent with character of surrounding area, standards to this effect could be incorporated into a zoning overlay district for hamlet;
- require percolation testing for development in areas with no public sewer, control development density based on results
* cooperative efforts: work with County and State to ensure that any proposed
roadway projects do not incorporate sidewalks or curbing in keeping with rural
character of area;
- work with Aurora to assist Wales in development of hamlet plan for South Wales;
- work with other communities to develop similar site clearing standards;
- work with National Main Street Center and other organizations of this kind to secure technical assistance and other services to improve hamlet area
* other actions: conduct site study for industrial development and address issues of
access of existing industrially zoned lands;
- educational program for wells and septic systems, investigate potential funding sources to assist homeowners with improvement or replacement of these facilities;
- publicize and support County's Right-to-Farm law and help local farmers identify programs and incentives to help improve their business;
- work with local farmers to establish local agri-tourism program in Holland;
- focus on infrastructure improvements in vicinity of hamlet;
- limit water extensions in town through use of lateral restrictions to control potential for extensive growth (only consider in areas abutting Aurora);
- establish Hamlet revitalization committee;
- establish revolving loan fund to support local businesses and property owners in
- initiate study to determine potential for establishing trails for dirt bikes, ATVs, snowmobiles through town. Could be coordinated with Wales as means of development connections between them
- Priority 2 (years 3-5): complete comprehensive plan annual report and note Priority 1 options that have not been completed. Target and reprioritize those actions. Assess any subdivision and site plan activity that occurred in previous years to make sure it is compliant with Regional Comprehensive Plan. Evaluate impact of Priority 1 implementation items that were completed. Recommend Prior 2 items to be completed in upcoming year; establish annual budget for Regional Comprehensive Plan
* zoning issues: continue to development overlay districts for hamlet and Rte 16
* other codes and regulations: adopt historic preservation guidelines or standards
for particular use in hamlet, consider designating Rte 16 in vicinity of Pearl St as
- require provision of recreational lands in design of large subdivisions
* cooperative efforts: work with Wales to adopt mutual rural development
guidelines to guide and manage growth and to preserve open space and farmland and
avoid sprawl inducing development techniques;
* other actions: conduct inventory of open space lands in town;
- based on findings of hamlet revitalization study, establish business recruitment program for area
- Priority 3: protect railroad corridor from unacceptable uses and lobby with appropriate agencies to maintain service corridor commuter usage and possible inter-modal transport
- pursue joint efforts to address issues that effect regions by pooling resources, filing
joint grant applications for funding, undertaking mutual studies, establish joint
- with other communities, begin to cooperatively explore possibilities of increased
public transportation and creative alternative modes of transportation
- adopt architectural guidelines to control quality of design in Town. Historic
preservation standards should also be evaluated for areas containing structures of
historical significance. Design guidelines should also be adopted for non-residential
- add poor soil condition requirements, similar to those used in Elma, to require
increased lot sizes in areas with poor "percolation" (lot sizes up to 5 acres minimum)
- implement accessibility improvements in and around hamlet. Consider addition of
sidewalks to connect important features
- work with other communities to develop a regional recreation facility, such as pool,
skating rink, etc.
- improve designated roadway shoulders to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists
- consider acting with other communities in designating important stream corridors as
Critical Improvement Areas (CEAs)
- Holland population growth numbers:
+ population remained stable from 1990-2000. While projections suggest strong growth during next decades, with population increase of 39% between 2000 and 2020, current trends suggest population will remain relatively stable.
+ rate of residential construction in Holland has been modest, average of 15 single-family units permitted each year. In addition, 5 apartment units were added to existing single family homes
+ preference for growth toward hamlet area, to control growth in areas without services, or along rural road frontages to protect community character
+ although it is possible that growth pressures may induce higher growth rates, it is more likely that the town will maintain its population base. Either extreme could cause environmental problems
GLOSSARY OF TERMS USED IN REGIONAL COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
Aquifier - an underground source of water that lies within or between water bearing layers of permeable rock, sand or gravel.
Agricultural Preservation - a variety of techniques employed to help support farming as an economic activity and farmland as a land use.
Central Business District - the area of the Village or a hamlet, consisting of retail, commercial, institutional and public service establishments, that functions as the primary location for commerce
Clustered Development - Clustered Development is a design technique for development projects that concentrates residential buildings in specific areas on a site to allow the remaining land to be set aside for recreation, common open space or environmental preservation. This is done by allowing housing to be constructed on smaller lots as long as the original density (the number of houses that can be built as-of-right on the property under the existing zone) does not change.
Conservation Easements - Conservation Easements are a legal means of controlling development on a particular parcel in order to preserve open space. Lands subject to Conservation Easements have controls or regulations limiting development.
Corridor (stream, scenic, open space, habitat) - a connection linking open space, wildlife habitats or other environmental features.
Greater Buffalo-Niagara Regional Transportation Council (GBNRTC) - The Greater Buffalo-Niagara Regional Transportation Council is the interagency planning group that establishes transportation policies and programs for Erie and Niagara Counties. In 1975, the GBNRTC (which was known as the NFTC - Niagara Frontier Transportation Committee) was designated the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) responsible for transportation planning in these counties. The organization provides a regional decision-making forum for the development of a multi-modal integrated transportation system that best serves the Niagara Frontier.
Housing Stock - the overall supply of housing in an area, including all sizes and styles of residential development.
Hydric Soils - soils are considered to be hydric if they are saturated, flooded or impounded long enough during the growing season to develop low oxygen levels and changeable chemical conditions in the upper layer. These soils are very poorly drained and have a high probability of containing wetlands.
Infrastructure - the underlying framework of public works systems that includes sewers, water lines, roadways, drainage piping and other utility service systems.
Level of Service - this term refers to a measurement of the amount of automobile traffic on roadways. Level of Service or LOS, as defined in NFTC 2010 Transportation System Plan, is a qualitiative measure describing the operational conditions within a stream of traffic. It is a means of quantifying or "grading" the operational quality of service provided by a roadways facility (NFTC, December 1994). LOS employs a rating system of "A" through "F", with "A" representing the best conditions with minimal delays and "F" representing failing conditions with extensive congestion.
Neo-Urbanist Concepts - Neo-urbanist, or neo-traditional, planning concepts emphasize mixed-use development reminiscent of traditional "small-town" type development. Traditional grid street patterns are preferred. Additional design standards typically found in neo-urbanist plans include smaller building setbacks so that buildings create a street-line, use of public buildings or parks as focal points in design, and pedestrian-friendly features, such as sidewalks, crosswalks, benches and street trees.
Overlay District - an overlay district is created by identifying an area on a municipality's Zoning Map and specifying additional regulations to supplement the underlying zoning regulations. The underlying zoning of the area does not change. Rather, additional restrictions are overlain onto the district. When development is proposed within the boundaries of an overlay district, the developer must comply with the requirements of the existing zoning district and the overlay district.
Passive Recreation - passive recreation involves non-strenuous activities such as picnicking, bird watching, casual walking and scenic viewing.
Planned Unit Development (PUD) - Planned Unit Developments (PUD) allow the mixing of commercial, industrial and residential uses on a single property. Typically zoning does not allow mixing uses, but this technique allows for a more creative site plan, subject to municipal approval. The usual use of PUDs is the creation of a planned community, with a proper mix of uses and layout. If they are allowed within a municipality, the Code specifies the minimum size of a PUD (acreage), and the requirements that must be followed. It must be understood that this zoning category is not an "open approval" to all uses. A plan must be submitted and approved by municipal authorities. A subcategory of PUDs is the Planned Residential District, or PRD. In this zoning category only residential uses are allowed, but there is greater leeway in the mixing of housing types (single-family, duplexes, apartments, condos, etc.).
Subdivision - The division of any parcel of land into two or more lots for immediate sale or development with or without streets or highways.
Transfer of Development Rights - This is a legal mechanism for preserving land and open space, by allowing denser development elsewhere within the municipality. In the areas identified for protection, the "development rights" can be sold or transferred to a receiving area, where denser development is appropriate. The area that purchased the development rights is allowed increased density (more units per acre, for example). In exchange, development is prohibited in the area selling the development rights.
Wetlands - those areas which are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency of duration sufficient to support, or that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands include bogs, swamps, marshes, cattail ponds, wet forests and meadows. These areas may not be wet or covered by water throughout the year.
Zoning Districts - In a municipality there exists zoning which tells you what can be built on the property (the use), and how it shall be built on the land (bulk requirements including size, height, etc.). Each zoning district has specific regulations regarding uses and bulk that must be followed. The zoning districts are identified through a zoning map that depicts where the boundaries of the zoning district exist.