CARMEL, N.Y. -- The Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce would like to turn Carmel into a destination spot.
The chamber presented its "Vision Carmel 2020" idea at a recent town board meeting with the goal of having a Comprehensive Master Plan in place by 2020. One of the main ideas includes investing in the town's infrastructure, including renovating water and sewer systems, developing roadways, parking plan and traffic flows to make it easier to get around town, and improving the town's broadband capabilities.
"Infrastructure improvements are necessary to make Carmel competitive and attractive to industry, research, and technology," the chamber said.
The town last drafted a master plan in 2000.
"We believe town planning has lost much of its potential for economic growth by restricting new business development," the chamber wrote. "Limiting the town’s ability to be a destination for shopping and cultural activities. We, as a community, must act promptly, as 17 years is too long to have gone by without consideration of the town’s future.
According to the chamber, residential properties make up 80 percent of total tax revenue, while commercial properties make up 17 percent. The chamber said it would like it to be a mix 60 percent residential, 40 percent commercial.
Thom Ianniccari, one of the co-chairs of the chamber's Legislative Advocacy Board, is one of the people behind Vision Carmel.
"The old comprehensive plan doesn't even relate to what the town is all about," Ianniccari said.
Ianniccari said there is no guidance for developers looking to build in Carmel or Mahopac.
"We want to turn this into a public conversation," Ianniccari said. "We want to keep this initiative moving forward. I don't want to see 'oh the chamber laid down a nice position, now what?' and just let it die on the vine. That's not going to happen."
As the county seat of Putnam, Ianniccari believes Carmel should lead by example.
"Other municipalities will then follow suit," Ianniccari said. "The county will be able to work updated plans and create an umbrella of planning for the county level."
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