Mayfield sets hearing on plan

MAYFIELD – Town residents on Tuesday will be able to voice their opinions on officials’ vision for Mayfield in 20 years – a plan that includes clusters of business development, more senior housing and more recreational opportunities for Mayfield’s growing and aging population.

The town will hold a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Town Hall on North School Street for residents to address a 126-page draft of the latest comprehensive plan, which was prepared after a committee sought written and verbal input from residents and considered results of a survey.

The town’s existing comprehensive plan was adopted in 2001, when officials noted residents were concerned about future growth and overcrowding. The 2013 draft puts more attention on business development, suggesting the creation of three new “resource hubs,” where stores, pharmacies, banks and other businesses and services would be centrally located.

“It’s been expressed to the town that there’s not enough senior housing, and I think that’s a direction the Comprehensive Plan Committee went,” said town Supervisor Rick Argotsinger, who noted he was not part of the committee and hasn’t yet read the full proposed plan.

The proposed hubs, which would require changes to zoning law, would be located along Route 30 north of the village of Mayfield, along Route 30 and Route 30A south of the village, and along Routes 30 and 29 and County Highway 155 in Vail Mills – a part of town that has shown the most business growth since the existing comprehensive plan was written.

“The whole town has been looking at trying to generate more sales-tax revenue, and the only way to do that is to bring in more commercial business,” said Argotsinger. He said the town soon will lose indirect sales tax when Walmart moves from the town of Johnstown, which shares a portion of tax revenue with other towns, to Gloversville. “We’re just trying to basically replace that.”

The draft comprehensive plan suggests the hubs would be heavily used by senior citizens and recommends the town seek new housing to accommodate Mayfield’s aging population. The town’s median age grew 17 percent, from 38.9 to 45.4, between 2000 and 2010, according to U.S. Census figures.

To promote job growth in the town, the proposed comprehensive plan suggests seeking more business development around Patch Road, where the former Coleco factory is located, and Sand Hill Road, the site of the former town landfill. It also proposes the town help secure water and sewer services for businesses trying to develop near the villages of Mayfield and Broadalbin.

The proposed plan also suggests safety changes and new signs on state-owned roads, including turning lanes on Route 349 at the intersections with Patch Road and Route 30, as well as a left turning lane from Route 30 onto Route 349, improved sight lines at Route 349 and Patch Road and Route 30 at Lathrop Road, turning lanes where Route 30 meets Route 30A and an engineering evaluation where Sand Hill Road meets Route 30.

The proposed plan repeats initiatives from the 2001 plan, which called for a fishing pier and walking paths at the town beach and also called for a public boat launch to be built. Mayfield has more privately owned boat launches than other towns on the Great Sacandaga Lake, but none of the three public launches.

Other potential recreational and tourism opportunities would include linking sections of the Rail Trail, building a golf course and hotel-conference center between Paradise Point Road and Lakeside Drive, adding snowmobile trails, encouraging more seasonal recreational vehicle sites and building a community-cultural center.

The proposed plan says the town and school district should work together to allow access to recreational facilities and the library. It also suggests more sharing of extra-curricular activities with other school districts, going so far as to suggest a merger study among Mayfield, Northville and Broadalbin-Perth school districts. A proposal to merge Mayfield and Northville schools that was approved by Mayfield voters was defeated last year by Northville district residents.