GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. — Grand Island has a new comprehensive plan.
The expansive, 115-page document, replaces its 1995 report which was last updated in 1998.
The two-year study was funded by community block grants.
Deputy Supervisor Jim Sharpe says Grand Island wasn't built like many towns, a situation that presents some unusual challenges.
"In most towns, like Williamsville, you started with a village and you moved out,” he said. “Grand Island didn't start as a village. Grand Island started as a shoreline and moved in. We imploded, not exploded."
Sharpe led a group of more than 20 people to form the Comprehensive Plan, relying on comments from the committee and community members to see what they want moving forward.
"What we heard over and over again is that people want walkability, they want accessibility and they want to control sprawl," said Town Supervisor Nate McMurray.
McMurray says the town is already addressing the walkability issue.
Grand Island received a $1.3 million grant to place sidewalks on both sides of Grand Island Boulevard, between Webb Road and Fantasy Island.
He says they will add trees and lights along those sidewalks and that they are applying for more funding to add sidewalks to Baseline Road as well.
"One of the reasons we want to do these plans is because when you can go to a state agency and say, ‘Look it, here is our vision, they're willing to fund it,’" McMurray said.
Sharpe says in addition to improving the infrastructure in the business district, the other primary goal is preserving green space.
“Open space, trail systems, the river itself, our creeks, our beautiful woodlands, all of the things we cherish,” Sharpe said.