Present and future landuse and development patterns in the County have a big impact on demand for transportation services. Much work of the Coordinated Plan is trying to reconcile our development patterns with location decisions, in which many people assumed the historical low cost of car ownership and energy would continue into the future. Discussions of personal location decisions should immediately bring up the dearth of affordable housing, and heavy real estate tax burden, in the Ithaca urban area. People with low and moderate incomes have limited affordable housing choices in the areas where the County is interested in focusing new development. This is one elephant-in-the-room the County strategy needs to acknowledge and address.
One person brought up the issue of the availability of broadband internet access as a basic piece of the infrastructure necessary for economic growth. This service coverage needs to be overlayed on the County map.
The Strategy identifies traditional hamlets in the County as being desirable focus areas for development, depanding upon the avaialbility and capacity of public infrastructure. By traditional, they mean 19th Century hamlets of Jacksonville, Varna, Etna, Danby, Caroline, McLean, etc. I suggested we need to recognize clustered residential developments created inthe 20th Century as hamlets. I refer to large mobile home parks in Newfield, Enfield, and Dryden. Large mobile home parks should be placed on the development focus area map and given the same consideration as older hamlets. The housing market needs modular housing of all types. For thousands of County residents, mobile home parks are their affordable housing alternative. We need a development strategy to plan how to provide access to essential public, commercial, health, recreational and educational services to advance sustainable liveability for people of all incomes.
I'll have more comments on the Strategy's expectations of public transit in the future. Meanwhile, the presentation will be posted on the TCPD website after June 21 and public feedback will be accepted through September 1, 2010.
I thank TCPD for their work, the presentation and refreshments.