In July of 2016, Plattsburgh NY was selected as one of 10 cities across the state to receive $10 million in funding as part of Governor Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
Strong Towns Plattsburgh supports many of the projects receiving funding from the DRI Grant; however, we are opposed to the Durkee Street Parking Lot Development as it currently stands. The proposed large-scale mixed-use development at this site is fundamentally at odds with Strong Town principals.
The Durkee Street Development has been awarded nearly half of all DRI funds - $4.3 million dollars, although the plan has demonstrated a clear lack of public support. Strong Towns Plattsburgh's opposition is based upon a lack of public input, transparency in process, and complicated parking issues that have arisen. The DRI Grant process is innately deigned to move quickly, which does not allow for city residents or businesses to adjust and favors developers interests over local pre-existing, small businesses.
Strong Towns Plattsburgh would like to see the Durkee Street Lot redeveloped over a longer period of time and split up into smaller lot sizes - resulting in structures that are more cohesive with existing buildings in the downtown area. Therefore, parking issues can then be dealt with in smaller increments with less upheaval and disruption for local anchor businesses.
The success or failure of community development projects depends heavily on adequate community buy-in and support. As of yet, the Local Planning Committee has not shown demonstrable evidence that this support exists.
Furthermore, in their report to the state, the LPC claimed that there was moderate public support for this project without providing any results from their community engagement events. We would like the Committee to provide the evidence for this claim.
We are currently working to gather data citing a lack of public support - You can sign the petition here.
Strong Towns Plattsburgh opposes the Durkee Street Development, because it threatens the architectural integrity of the downtown area by proposing up to a 45,000 square foot structure, which is out of scale with what currently exists in the downtown area.
Smaller buildings that fit in with the characteristics of existing buildings will provide consistency in the visual aesthetics of the downtown area that vibrant, charming, and bustling downtowns across the country demonstrate.
transparency and data
A FOIL request has been submitted to the City of Plattsburgh requesting disclosure of the following information: Results of all public polling, surveys, voter response forms, and data collected during the DRI process.
Additionally, our FOIL request asks for disclosure of all conference calls, emails, agendas, and meeting minutes which took place outside of public view. The City of Plattsburgh has responded to our request and Strong Towns Plattsburgh is currently processing the raw data.
Strong Towns Plattsburgh has submitted a FOIL request to New York State and is currently awaiting a response with an anticipated deadline of May 10, 2018