Perth plan includes idea for ‘town center’

PERTH – Town officials and residents discussed some of the plans and suggestions inside the current draft of the town’s Comprehensive Plan on Wednesday.

Meeting in the Perth Community Senior Center for a public hearing, Fulton County Senior Planner Sean Geraghty and Comprehensive Plan Commission Chairman Ron Cetnar – who also is the town Planning Board Chairman – discussed some ideas in the plan for the town.

Cetnar said the commission has been working for more than four years on the plan. Cetnar said the commission made adjustments based on suggestions it received after presenting the plan in April 2012.

The commission looked at the town’s road network, community facilities, recreational resources and businesses.

“It’s actually more new than updated,” Cetnar said.

Geraghty said the main point of the plan is to present a guide on how the future development of the town could go.

“When a community wants to take control of its own development, its future, you start with a comprehensive plan,” Geraghty said.

Geraghty said a benefit of having a plan is it shows any Planning Board decisions aren’t made arbitrarily.

Geraghty said the town’s Comprehensive Plan would include the development of a “town center” – basically, encouraging development along and near the town’s Four Corners, at the intersection of Route 30 and County Highway 107.

Showing a rough outline of the proposed future Perth town center at the meeting, the map showed playgrounds, baseball fields and areas for people to walk and relax.

Both Geraghty and Cetnar said drawing businesses to the Route 30 corridor would be extremely important.

Geraghty said without something to draw people through the corridor, people may take alternate routes to get to the Adirondacks. Geraghty suggested things such as farmers markets or restaurants could attract people driving through the town.

Another goal would be developing the Tryon Youth Detention Facility property along County Highway 107 into the Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center, a plan Fulton County is spearheading.

“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 said.

At the meeting, some people said without proper infrastructure, the plan may not work.

Angela Pelneau, a resident of the town for 45 years, said with the lack of a sewer district in the Four Corners area, a town center would be difficult to develop. Septic tanks, according to Pelneau, can’t be readily built in the area due to environmental concerns.

Gregory Fagan, town supervisor, said he was pleased with what he saw in the plan.

“I had a pretty good idea what they were going to present, and they’ve done a fantastic job,” Fagan said.

The comment period on the plan will be open until July 12. After that, members of the committee will review the plan based on new suggestions. A copy of the plan is available in PDF form at