In 2002, the Village engaged a consultant to develop a conceptual plan designed to create a vision of the future of our main roadway, Route 32, Broadway. This forward thinking and important plan was the result of a coordinated effort with the Village of Menands Economic Development Committee, the consultant; Saratoga Associates and business owners and residents along the Broadway Corridor.
The completed and adopted Plan encourages a pedestrian-friendly street that allows for multi-modal transportation alternatives (automobile, mass transit, bicycle and pedestrian) for our business customers and residents. Accordingly, the Village has insisted that improved physical features including but not limited to continuous sidewalks, frequent street crossings, bikeways, trees and landscaping improvements be included in any development proposal.
While the Broadway Corridor Master Plan laid the groundwork for future economic development activity, by 2007 the Village Board realized that more work needed to be done. Accordingly, the Board appointed the Village of Menands Economic Development and Planning Working Group to continue the focus on the Broadway Corridor as well as other development issues.
The Working Group met over the next 18 months and submitted its Final Report in July, 2009. The Final Report recommended a series of actions designed to improve the economic viability of the Broadway Corridor.
In 2013, under the guidance of Elan Planning, Design, Landscape Architecture PLLC, the Village Board amended the Villages Official Zoning Map, and updated the Village Zoning Code to include T4/T5 Infill Districts through the use of form based code. These districts should preserve the pedestrian character of the streets, and the neighborhoods should relate to nearby neighborhoods.
In 2016, the Village Board adopted a Planned Development Districts (PDD) as an additional tool for development in Menands. The PDDs provide a procedure for allowing flexible land use and design through creative planning and design. Approved PDDs will enable greater flexibility than conventional zoning while providing a customized regulatory framework that recognizes the unique environmental, physical, and cultural resources of the project and neighborhood.
Also, in 2016, the Village Board amended Chapter 138, Signs and Billboards of the Village Code. The amended code is intended to protect property values, create a more attractive economic and business climate, enhance and protect the physical appearance of the community, preserve the scenic and natural beauty of designated areas and provide a more enjoyable and pleasing community.
In addition, the Board has developed an enhanced Site Plan Review Process including a Site Plan Application Checklist and a Site Plan Application Form for every new project. These enhancements
will assist developers through the Site Plan Review Process to expedite projects and to make sure that all requirements are met to obtain approval.
The Design Guidelines were also updated in 2016 to reflect the changes to the zoning. The Design Guidelines are intended to promote the Village’s long-range vision to develop an appealing community to live and do business in. They are offered as a tool to streamline the application process and clarify the intent of Menands zoning ordinance.
As we begin a new year in 2017, the Village Board remains committed to improvements in our Broadway Corridor and looks forward to their fruition. We encourage developers and other applicants to carefully consider what Menands has to offer as they formulate their expansion or redevelopment plans.