Cattaraugus County has 34 towns, nine villages and two cities. Many of these municipalities lack professional planning expertise to address issues such as economic development, zoning and land use, transportation, agricultural support, and community revitalization. County planning staff provides technical assistance to municipalities, assisting their elected officials, planning and zoning boards, and municipal staff with planning-related issues.
Some of the issues we assist municipalities with are:
- Comprehensive Planning
- Community Revitalization Fund
- Land Bank
- Grant Assistance
- Census Data and Demographics
- Smart Growth
- Complete Streets
- Age Friendly Communities
- Planning and Zoning Assistance for Municipalities
Some of the recent activities we have completed for our municipalities include:
The County has developed a model conservation subdivision ordinance for local municipalities to use in conjunction with an existing subdivision ordinance or local law.
Rural residential development has the potential to enhance the natural beauty and rural flavor of our towns and villages, or destroy it completely. Subdivision review is a valuable tool for local officials to ensure that this development protects and enhances the environment and rural resources. A Conservation subdivision is a unique form of subdivision that enables a community to preserve rural land while also allowing development to occur. A conservation subdivision differs from a conventional subdivision in that it puts preservation first. Valuable open space land is identified early in the review process and set aside as permanent conservation land.
In conjunction with a New York State Quality Communities grant and the assistance of the University at Buffalo Environmental Law Clinic, the Planning Department has prepared a model conservation subdivision ordinance for the municipalities in Cattaraugus County. Originally prepared by noted conservation planner Randall Arendt, this model ordinance can serve as a supplement to a community's existing subdivision provisions, allowing the community to review and adopt cluster subdivisions that permanently preserve vital rural land.
Saving Our Villages Initiative
The County Planning Division worked with select villages in the County to develop visions for their downtown areas, and demonstrated how downtown buildings can be revitalized with upper floor apartments.