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Eight members of the Grand Island Long Range Planning Committee met for the first time Wednesday night to consider town center plans devised by faculty and students of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning.

The committee, headed by Thomas Nowak, will meet again Oct. 22 for further study of an 88-page report commissioned by the town and prepared by Hiro Hata, a UB architecture professor, with the assistance of 18 architecture and planning students.

The town committee agreed on seven principles to guide reshaping and creating a prosperous town center focused around Town Hall on the triangle formed by Grand Island Boulevard, Whitehaven and Baseline roads.

Overall, the town center design is aimed at stopping suburban sprawl, making the community more close-knit and walkable and less car-dependent.

The committee agreed on seven principles for reshaping the town center:

Permitting development of mixed-use buildings.

Making the town center a place to live is essential to making it a place to work and shop.

Making the town center dense in population and compact.

Making the town center "pedestrian-friendly" is critical, with a network of streets and sidewalks.

A car-oriented town center is counter-productive.

Developing buildings close to the street is essential, with sidewalks between the curb and buildings, providing a place to walk, socialize, relax, dine, display and plant.

Providing convenient on-street parking, thus reducing the need for oversized parking lots.

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