Design guidelines convey the community’s vision for how development should fit into the community’s landscape and contribute to its character and quality of life. At the same time, design guidelines must also respect and support the efforts of those proposing projects in the town — those who bear the risks and devote personal time and resources to development projects, and who ultimately provide the residents of the town with places to live, shop and in which to do business.
As such, successful design guidelines for the Town of Dryden will: (1) Clearly articulate a vision for development in the town, and (2) Provide room for flexibility and common sense solutions for individual projects.
Residential development is and will be a vital element of the future of the Town of Dryden. As the town becomes increasingly developed, proper management of this growth will increase public safety, environmental quality, property values, economic opportunity, town character and quality of life for residents. However, given the incremental and individual parcel focus typical of the development process, there is an increasing need for guidance to achieve appropriate future development patterns in the town. Further, the long-term cumulative adverse impact of small, community vision can have a significant detrimental effect on each of the positive values mentioned above.
The use of the guidelines will help achieve the goals expressed in the town’s comprehensive plan including provision of a variety of house options, protection of agricultural resources, and maintaining town rural character and land values.
Communities across the nation have found that more guidance is needed in the planning and design of new development. Improperly planned and designed developments can lead to decreased public safety for highway users, increase traffic and congestion, and can contribute to loss of community character and the decline or flattening of property values.
In particular, these design guidelines should be used to advance the following goals drawn from the town’s comprehensive plan:
- Integrating new growth in a way that respects and protects existing natural and cultural resources in a reasonable manner.
- Provide reasonable examples of appropriate design concepts for landowners who choose to subdivide their property.
- Protect and where possible, enhance public safety along roadways.
- Establish development patterns that are cost-effective for the town and developers while creating a land use pattern that protects and strengthens the town’s natural and economic attributes.
These design guidelines have been prepared in response to the kind of residential development the Dryden town planning board has encountered over the past several decades- principally smaller scale subdivisions.
In the end, the design guidelines should be viewed as a “framework” for dialogue that sheds light on expectations and opportunities during the development review process, for all parties involved.