Municipal Planning

Medford Visioning

Medford, NY

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The citizens of Medford, an unincorporated area in the Town of Brookhaven, needed a Vision Update for their community. Cameron Engineering worked closely with a Steering Committee of residents, civic and business leaders, and Town representatives to define a new vision for Medford’s future. The Vision Update included ‘Opportunity Areas,’ the community’s major commercial corridors where change was likely and the ‘Focus Area,’ which was the area around the train station. The project defined the Focus Area as a future Hamlet Center and outlined possible transit oriented development that would create the kind of center favored by most community members. Cameron Engineering recommended zoning changes, parcel acquisitions, use of Transfer of Development credits to preserve rural and horse farm properties and concentrate new development in the Hamlet Center. Parcels recommended for acquisition included some for open and civic spaces, some for pocket parks, and others for new parking to support a future Hamlet Center. Recommended mobility improvements included new sidewalks to support Safe Routes to School, better defined pedestrian crossings of major roadways, and widened sidewalks in the proposed hamlet Center. Cameron Engineering stressed the preservation of parcels, structures, and areas to retain the character of historic Medford. The Hamlet Center was envisioned as a place with a distinctive identity that would provide a ‘sense of place’ and a diversity of housing, neighborhood retail and offices, and civic uses.

Port Jefferson – 2030 Comprehensive Plan

Port Jefferson, NY

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The Village of Port Jefferson needed an update to its decades-old comprehensive plan. Plans had been proposed to revitalize its waterfront and the commercial area by the train station. Other issues like new development, parking, retail vacancies, and taxes needed to be examined. Cameron Engineering prepared a Comprehensive Plan Update for the Village that included an extensive stakeholder engagement process with a Comprehensive Plan Committee and several public participation planning meetings. The Comprehensive Plan Update included replacement of waterfront parking with civic and recreational space and detailed recommendations for the redevelopment of the commercial area in ‘Uptown’ by the train station. The ‘Uptown’ revitalization included mixed-use and mixed-income development compatible with the neighborhood.

The Plan recommended better utilization of existing parking, new surface lots, an improved parking management system, parking districts, and payments in lieu of on-site parking. The Plan incorporated recommendations for pedestrian and vehicular mobility improvements such as wider sidewalks, attractive alleys, and plazas. Environmental recommendations included additional stormwater management and treatment for improved surface and ground water quality. Recommendations were made for zoning code and policy changes to accommodate the recommendations of the Plan. A Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement was prepared.

Long Beach Comprehensive Plan Update

Long Beach, NY

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The City of Long Beach’s “Creating Resilience: A Planning Initiative” is an update of the 2007 Comprehensive Plan (CP) and the 2007 Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP) to address resiliency post-Superstorm Sandy and post-economic downturn.
The CP update includes all traditional aspects of a plan, such as background information on population, employment, demographic trends, housing, transportation, utilities, community facilities, agricultural/natural/ cultural resources, land use and implementation strategies. Non-traditional aspects, such as climate adaptation, sustainability and resiliency, social health and well-being; community art, heritage, and culture; and a regional strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis, are also included.
The LWRP update includes all traditional aspects of an LWRP; and pays particular attention to the revitalization of the City’s north side, the “Bayfront” considering the community’s needs outlined in the 2009 BOA Pre-Nomination Study. This section of the updated LWRP addresses housing, infrastructure, public facilities/amenities, connectivity with the larger community and the economic opportunities presented by the revitalization of this part of the City. The Bayfront is home to both major industrial uses and an Environmental Justice community. The LWRP update includes an economic assessment of this Bayfront area to identify the most appropriate land uses and the costs and benefits that might accrue to the City. It builds upon the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan bulkheading/walkway design guidelines.
The CP and LWRP incorporate recently completed and ongoing planning studies to create a truly integrated and holistic vision. The CP includes a section on Hazard Mitigation that outlines the processes of preparedness, emergency response, recovery and long term mitigation to minimize loss of life and property from future storms and sea level rise.

A major public outreach effort helped to formulate and refine the policies and projects central to the planning initiative. A diverse Citizens Advisory Committee, 10 Public meetings, several focus groups and an online survey were utilized to gather public input on existing concerns, general themes and specific policies and projects. The meetings were very interactive, with all materials posted on a project website, for those not able to attend, or desirous of reviewing the material at their leisure after the public meetings.

New York Rising Community Reconstruction

Various Locations, NY

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In late October 2012 the largest storm in New York’s recorded history swept ashore. Hurricane Sandy’s effect was devastating, causing widespread damage to lives, homes, businesses, core infrastructure, government property and an economy just recovering from the Great Recession. Fourteen counties were declared Federal disaster areas. Sixty New Yorkers died and two million customers lost power with some blackouts lasting up to three weeks. The storm damaged or destroyed as many as 300,000 housing units, affected or closed over 2,000 miles of roads, produced catastrophic flooding in subways and tunnels, and damaged major power transmission and communication systems. It was announced that New York State would receive $1.73 billion of an initial $5.4 billion allocation to assist disaster recovery efforts in areas of the state that had received Presidential Disaster Declaration related to Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The funds awarded to the State will be administered by the Housing Trust Fund Corporation’s (HTFC) Office of Community Renewal (OCR), operating under the integrated leadership structure of New York State Homes and Community Renewal (NYSHCR).

As stated in the Action Plan, New York State will establish Community Reconstruction Zone (CRZ) planning grants. The State anticipated allocating approximately $25 million from the first allocation to provide planning grants to target communities selected as Community Reconstruction Zones. A CRZ, led by a CRZ Planning Committee, submitted a plan in order to qualify for implementation grants to be included in allocations. Each pre-divided community consisting of various cities and towns formed a Community Reconstruction Zone Planning Committee. The Committee was comprised of representatives from the County, City, Town or Village, elected legislative representative(s), members of the public, including representatives of vulnerable populations, as well as the leaders of established organizations and businesses in the community selected by the State in consultation with local officials.

As part of a pre-selected Team of engineers, planner and community advocates, Cameron Engineering & Associates joined forces to support initial community planning efforts and all critical studies to determine the key vulnerabilities and needs of the community which was used to support the creation of CRZ plans. These plans included:

  • Action Plan – The Team supported the CRZ Planning Committee as it established goals, set target dates, venues, and purposes of public outreach, reviewed risk assessment maps, and identified the geographic scope of the Plan.
  • Public Engagement – The Team was required to assist the committee as it organized, facilitated, and otherwise supports multiple public events.
  • Community Asset Inventory – The Team supported the CRZ Planning Committee as it worked with the State to conduct a rigorous analysis of the community’s infrastructure, economy, and assets to determine where the community’s greatest vulnerabilities and opportunities lie.
  • Risk Assessment – The Team supported the CRZ Planning Committee as it worked with the State to complete a detailed risk assessment of the community’s assets using a Risk Assessment Tool provided by the State to CRZs, and considered the three factors contributing to risk – hazard, vulnerability, and exposure – and using those risk factors and historical data, estimated the potential consequences an asset faces from future storms.
  • Economic Needs and Opportunities Assessment – The Team supported the CRZ Planning Committee as it identified the community’s economic needs and opportunities.
  • Housing Needs Assessment and Strategies – The Team supported the CRZ Planning Committee as it developed a housing needs assessment and strategies that helped achieve local housing goals and ancillary activities.
  • Regional Planning Projects – The Team supported the CRZ Planning Committee as it produced a list of projects, strategies, and activities that affected or will be affected by ongoing planning in nearby municipalities and at the county and regional level.
  • Investment and Action Strategies – The Team supported the CRZ Planning Committee as it developed strategies to rebuild and spur economic growth.
  • Completed CRZ Plan. The Team supported the CRZ Planning Committee as it completed a CRZ Plan that included a detailed implementation schedule.

Gordon Heights Land Use Plan and Associated Components

Gordon Heights, NY

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The Gordon Heights Land Use Plan (GHLUP) detailed land use, demographic, and economic conditions and provided guidance for future land-use decisions. It was based on a community visioning and extensive outreach. Cameron Engineering analyzed land use and zoning, demographics and economics, mobility, infrastructure, and environmental resources. The discussion of land use covered residential, commercial, industrial, and recreational uses as well as community services, and open space. Cameron developed two mixed-use neighborhood centers to satisfy the community’s vision while working within the demands of the market opportunities as defined by the economic report conducted for the project.

The GHLUP made recommendations for new and modified residential and commercial land uses and included zoning and building code modifications in support of the Plan. Recommendations for infrastructure (particularly wastewater collection and treatment) and mobility improvements were included. Cameron Engineering also prepared a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to review potential adverse environmental impacts from the Plan and propose mitigation measures. A Final EIS addressed concerns raised during the public hearings and in the written comments received during the public comment period on the EIS.