Every plan has a goal, whether it's losing that last ten pounds, getting a college degree or finding a job, but the North East comprehensive plan is a lot more ambitious than that. The goals and objectives are to:
... develop and preserve a pleasant, attractive, healthy, safe, efficient and convenient community environment for living, working, shopping and relaxing. This plan is intended to promote, to protect and to facilitate the public health, safety, morale and general welfare of the community. The plan aims at coordinated and practical community development through proper density of population, and avoidance of land overcrowding. In addition, provisions will be made for adequate light, air, and the public infrastructure of transportation, water and sewage. In order to avoid and/or minimize the loss of health, life or property from fire, flood, panic or other dangers, the plan will focus on proper police and fire protection and related code enforcement programs. Finally, the plan will promote the development of schools, public grounds and other public facilities to serve the residents of the community.
Quite a list! Who could disagree with any of it, but if all of these things are proper concerns for our local officials, you better prepare for a big tax increase because there's no way any local municipality can accomplish all of that without a lot more resources and personnel, if it can be done at all. It's almost as though, government planners came up with a plan that requires more government, hmm,... isn't that odd?
Who really wrote this plan?
In all fairness, much of this was obviously not written by North East officials, it came from Erie County, but they didn't write it either. Much of it came from the state of Pennsylvania, but they, in turn, followed guidance from the federal government.
Where have I seen this before?
If you've looked at plans of this type before, as I have, plans from different cities and towns across the country, you'll find they all look and sound suspiciously alike. The recent Destination Erie / Emerge 2040 plan introduced a couple of months ago for Erie County, (a major work which will probably replace much of the current plan we're discussing) is a great example of cookie cutter plans customized with a sprinkling of local details (provided by local officials and planners who are asked for "input") to make it appear as though it was specially designed for each community or region. Make no mistake, these are not local plans. What they really are is a government wishlist, plans with the common goal of making every community conform to an ideal designed by federal bureaucrats.
Click through on the link below and see for yourself everything this plan discusses: the environment, energy conservation, aesthetic considerations, economic issues, housing, transportation, community facilities and land use. Wow! When they called it comprehensive, they weren't kidding!
North East doesn't need that sort of all encompassing tinkering by bureaucrats who think they know just what we need and if the residents of our community think about it for more than a few minutes, they'll begin to realize how intrusive this sort of planning can easily become. Strange as it may seem, the residents of North East may be able to make decisions for themselves without help from distant planning committees. Maybe we should try that.
North East Area Comprehensive Plan - Goals and Objectives