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The Grand Island Long-Range Planning Committee discussed strategies Wednesday night for a mixed-use town center.

The development area, focused on the Town Hall on Grand Island Boulevard, is bounded by Bedell Road to the north, Webb Road to the south, a Niagara Mohawk Power line easement to the east and the Thruway to the west.

At their next meeting November 12, committee members will list what they like and dislike about six preliminary designs prepared by students of Hiro Hata, chairmen of the School of Architecture and Planning at the Unversity at Buffalo.

Key elements of the plan include a government and civic center at the core of the development, with high-population density housing -- apartments, duplexes, and condominiums -- radiating outward from the core.

The core would be the area within a quarter mile radius from Town Hall, the equivalent of 130 acres.

It would encompass the Grand Island shopping plaza, the Tops plaza and town houses west of Town Hall.

An inner ring within a half-mile radius of Town Hall would consist of 300 acres, surrounded by an outer periphery for lower density housing development.

Major thoroughfares are considered adequate to serve the Town Center, but a network of new residential streets would be needed.

A "village access" drive would be added about a quarter mile from Baseline and Whitehaven roads.

Open recreational spaces would be developed along Woods Creek, which traverses the area, while the core area would include a civic square.

In addition to Town Hall, the civic square would consist of a community center, the town library and Fire and Police headquarters.

Success of such development hinges on a "strong partnership between government and private investors," planners said.

Construction of the town center would take years, they said.

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