Perth releases draft of comprehensive plan

PERTH – A first draft of the town’s proposed comprehensive plan will be shown to the public and the Town Board this week, according to a news release.

The town’s Comprehensive Plan Commission will present the first draft of the plan during a public session Wednesday in the Community Senior Center.

According to the release, the commission has been working on the comprehensive plan for the last four and a half years.

Wednesday’s meeting will discuss the concepts behind the comprehensive plan and offer a question-and-answer period for residents. The commission will take the public comments into consideration for the second draft.

The public session is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the senior center.

According to Peter Betz, a town councilman, this is the first comprehensive plan the town has had.

“We haven’t really been acting from the point of view of a comprehensive plan,” Betz said.

Sean Geraghty, senior planner for Fulton County, said the comprehensive plan includes a proposal to create a proper town center near the four corners intersection and Town Hall.

“They need to fix it up, and it’s a great recreation resource,” Geraghty said of the area.

Ron Cetnar, chairman of the Comprehensive Plan Committee, said the hope is to establish a town center that harkens back to the community center of the 1800s.

Secondly, housing opportunities would be looked at. Geraghty said there is a lack of apartments in the town.

According to the plan, Perth has seen a 10.8 percent increase in occupied housing units over the last 20 years. From 1990 to 2010, the amount of occupied housing units, which Geraghty defines as homes and apartments, increased from 1,041 to 1,461.

A more interesting number, according to Geraghty, is the owner-occupied housing numbers. According to the comprehensive plan, from 1990 to 2010, the total owner-occupied units rose from 1,041 of 1,277 (82 percent) in 1990 to 1,270 of 1,540 (83 percent) in 2010.

“We are developing more,” Cetnar said.

Cetnar said that, being within a half-hour commute of Global Foundries in Malta, Perth could be an attractive hometown for its employees.

Another goal and idea that commission members felt could benefit the community would be developing the Tryon Youth Detention Facility property along County Highway 107 into the Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center, a plan that Fulton County is spearheading.

The redevelopment would have an enormous impact on Perth’s local economy, the draft plan notes.

“Redevelopment of the former Tryon site may also have impacts on population growth in the community, which in turn could affect commercial growth throughout the town,” the draft says.

“If the former Tryon site is successfully redeveloped into a Technology Park and Incubator Center, County Road I-07 west of NYS Route 30 will also become a focus of commercial development for those businesses looking to serve the population of workers who will travel this road on a daily basis,” the plan says.

Another goal is to revive some farming, which has decreased in Perth.

“They had 40 or so active farms, and they are down to a handful,” Geraghty said of the town.

Copies of the draft are available at the town clerk’s office and online at