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Ogdensburg planners again seek public input


City planners will ask citizens to weigh in once more on conceptual waterfront plans and policies to guide development.

Ogdensburg holds its final public workshop tonight for the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan, interim Director of Planning and Development Andrea L. Smith said.

At the workshop, edr Cos., the Syracuse consultant assisting the city in drafting the plan, will revisit conceptual schematics for targeted sites along the St. Lawrence and Oswegatchie rivers.

“Edr will be facilitating the workshop,” Ms. Smith said. “They will present their revised drawings and revised concepts along with some more advanced design details and some corridor renderings and land and water gateways.”

In April, a skeptical crowd criticized plans drafted by edr, prompting the consultants to revise their schematics.

One of the complaints was a plan for a busy residential and cultural district on the Augsbury tank farm site. Participants worried about the traffic the plan would create.

“There are some minor changes in the Augsbury district that reflect the comments that it was too hectic and there should be more green space,” Ms. Smith said.

Elsewhere, more dramatic changes were made to plans for the former Diamond International and Standard Shade Roller sites, where the consultant originally proposed a vast waterfront nature park, sparking complaints that public requests for more housing, restaurants and retail had been ignored.

“Edr heard firsthand the community’s feedback and they have made some changes as a result,” Ms. Smith said. “They have presented a vastly different concept that is much more reflective of the comments we have heard throughout this process — a mixed-use development on the waterfront that preserves green space but also provide some of the amenities the community was asking for.”

Participants also will see three-dimensional models of the arts and entertainment area planned for the marina district.

A grant coordinator from the state Department of State working with Ms. Smith will sit in on the workshop and meet the public.

Ms. Smith said workshop participants will help select priority projects for planners to emphasize as the draft plan is finalized.

“You can list anything from local to regional projects,” she said. “There can be 10 projects, or there can be 25 projects. Within those, we rank them in terms of highest priority to lowest priority, recognizing these are all priority projects.”

The highest priority projects are then incorporated as part of the Local Waterfront Revitalization Policies, Ms. Smith said.

She said tonight’s meeting will be the public’s last opportunity to weigh in on the policies and Ogdensburg will take a hiatus on its public planning workshops.

“This is the last workshop for our LWRP,” she said. “There will be a comment period, but this is the community’s last opportunity to give us their feedback before the draft is completed.”

The workshop will be at 6 p.m. in the Dobisky Visitors Center.

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