CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. — The Town Board has officially adopted the consultants’ design proposal for the 37-acre Town Center Park.
By adopting the Master Plan the town can now move forward with searching out grants which will help pay for improving and shaping the parcel to conform to the proposed design and constructing certain amenities that are part of the plan.
The unanimous action by the town Board was taken at the Feb. 3 Town Board meeting.
The Master Plan was created by consultants Behand Planning and Design and Elan Planning, Design, and Landscape Architecture. The two companies were hired by the town and partnered to draw up a design proposal after comprehensive engagement with residents that sought out what was desired.
The 94-page plastic bound booklet is filled with photos, drawings, charts, graphs, artist’s renderings, and plenty of text. It takes readers from the residents’ efforts to stop the sale of the parcel to a developer through the numerous public workshops held by the consultants to get their ideas.
It also includes information on the land’s existing conditions, its opportunities and restraints, the phasing in of the design, and the costs involved. The plan is available for review in the Town Clerk’s office.
The site for the park is between Moe Road on the west and Maxwell Drive on the east. To the south is Shatekon Elementary School and to the north is the Town Plaza retail and office center on Route 146.
The land was purchased by the town from Shen for $1.1 million after a public referendum prevented it being sold to a developer.
The resolution adopting the Master Plan at the Feb. 3 Town Board meeting noted the town and its Planning Department conducted a comprehensive year-long planning and design process last year soliciting public input and engaging stakeholders, neighbors and residents in the “identification and synthesis of values and prioritized concepts” for the property.
The Master Plan is to be used to guide the management of any future improvements to the park, seek grants, and commit town resources as available, including appropriations authorized by the Town Board. It will also be used to guide workforce labor and equipment over time and construct amenities to the park in accordance with any required permits.
“It’s been a long and satisfying process to get to this point,” said town Supervisor Philip Barrett. “Upon purchasing the property from the school district we immediately embarked on a comprehensive planning process that would include engaging a consultant, holding a number of public meetings, and making sure residents were informed of our progress as we proceeded.”
Barrett thanked residents for their participation in the process noting that they had not only attended the workshops, design charrettes, tours of the site, and the public presentation of the Master Plan, but had taken the time to complete the consultants’ questionnaires and submitted their opinions to them.
“Throughout the process we were fortunate to have a great deal of participation from many interested Clifton Park residents,” he said. “We want to thank you for that because without that, the process was not going to be successful. Thankfully we had that interest and participation.”
Barrett said the town is constantly keeping in mind the fact that there are options available to help with design implementation, not just at present, but some that may become available in the future.
“Some of that is a matter of timing,” he said. “With some of those we’ll be aggressively pursuing a strategy to encourage some of those options becoming a reality. We just want to make sure that the final product is something that residents of Clifton Park will support. This is your park.”
He added that improving access to the park remains a priority with design implementation as the town moves forward.
“We know many people are using the property since the purchase and we want to make sure we actively engage more people in the use of the property now and in the future,” he said. “Every part of the public process was very rewarding and valuable. Your input was crucial to the process.”