In order to promote positive economic growth countywide, there should be a cooperative understanding between all agencies, citizens and public officials so all parties can be involved in new industry proposals.
Economic development must be considered within a land-use framework in order to have maximum benefit on the regional and local economies while having minimum negative impacts on the environment, service capacity and character of the area. Furthermore, the use of economic development agreements through intergovernmental coordination should be promoted.
Seneca County provides an example of the value of open space and natural resources to its residents. Throughout the county’s past, the natural environment has played an important role in defining Seneca’s identity. Seneca County prides itself on its rural character and agricultural resources. Citizens want to maintain the rural character of the county by preserving farmland and other natural features.
To protect the county’s rural character, growth management techniques need to be used to encourage compact development in existing urban areas, plan ahead for growth and prevent further environmental degradation of the land. We need to encourage growth that builds upon existing municipalities and supports new residential, commercial and industrial growth only within identified urban growth boundaries where public infrastructure is available.
We need to preserve prime farmland, recognizing agriculture as a viable economic resource. We need to develop and implement an aggressive program to preserve agricultural uses in those areas identified for permanent agricultural preservation. Citizens and officials alike acknowledged the encroachment of development on farmland is a critical county issue.
We need to protect sensitive environmental areas such as wetlands, woodlands, steep slopes, endangered species habitats, native species habitats, and flora and fauna from the impacts of developments. We need to restrict development in critical resource areas such as in the 100-year floodplain and in perennial stream buffers. We need to maintain and preserve natural open space corridors that are important to wildlife and plant life habitats.
These ideas are not our original thoughts. They are all part of a document that was accepted as a guide for the Seneca County Regional Planning Commission. (It can be found on their website.) The Seneca County Comprehensive Plan was created to advise elected officials on actions relevant to growth and change.
Our request is that the elected officials in Seneca County take another look at this document. Based on this study, we feel it is the duty of our elected officials to intervene against the Seneca industrial wind project that will impact our farmland and decimate our rural open spaces and sensitive environmental areas.
Keith and Gail Moyer,
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