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PANEL REVIEWS GREEN SPACE MASTER PLAN ENGINEERING FIRM UPDATES OFFICIALS IN WHEATFIELD

The Town "Greenspace" committee Thursday reviewed its master plan to identify, preserve and utilize the natural resources and aesthetic amenities of the town.

Representatives of Wendel Engineers, the firm steering the project, examined the green space concept with the committee members as well as a handful of town officials and a few residents.

Among the primary objectives of the plan is to increase awareness of all positive attributes of the town and to focus attention on its related patterns, trends and development potential, according to the elaborate presentation.

Theresa M. Fezer, representing Wendel Engineers, said the goal of the plan would enhance the environmental, recreational and image aspects of Wheatfield using criteria such as waterways, wetlands, hedgerows, woods, utility corridors and existing zoning designations.

Eventually, the plan's concepts would produce items such as trail ways and paths for various recreational purposes.

She said the final plan would be compiled into print and would be ready for public inspection in about two weeks. The plan would undergo a public hearing prior to consideration by the Town Board. Also, it would be forwarded to various state agencies such as Parks and Recreation and the Department of Environmental Conservation for review.

Andrew C. Giarrizzo of Wendel said some of the criteria areas include Niagara Falls Boulevard, Ward Road near Bergholtz Creek and the utility corridors on the north and south ends of town.

These areas would serve as "a framework for future development" because of the blend of image, transportation, recreation and environmental protection goals.

Councilwoman Darlyne O'Callaghan, who chaired the committee, said the project "accomplished our goals and put to rest a lot of fears."

Some of the recommendations of the committee include:

Green space planning as an integral part of general town planning, especially among residential land uses but not excluding commercial land use.

Planning should attempt to satisfy the multiple demands of the town.

Development of funding sources, conservation groups, government agencies, education and service groups to procure and maintain green space.

Maintain the integrity and purpose of the master plan with respect for the resources identified and their contribution toward defining the quality of life in Wheatfield.

Supervisor Terry W. Kuehn noted that "the amenities attract developers."

"I see it as a wonderful marketing tool," he said. "I talk frequently about the importance of proper planning."

Kuehn and Councilman Kenneth Retzlaff cautioned about the impact of the project on existing farmlands.

Kuehn was told the project would not infringe on existing uses of lands.

Retzlaff, a farmer, said the committee should be very careful on the designation of recreational areas because of the potential for damage to croplands.

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