Friday, January 07, 2011

Utica Master Plan: The Emperor's New Clothes?

Area problems have often been used to obtain grants with the results all too often falling far short of the benefits promised. Remember the Center for Brownfield Studies? the grant to Oneida County to assess contaminated areasGriffiss Institute? Utica Safe Schools?

The $325,000 Utica Master Plan was partly funded by grants, but as indicated in numerous posts here falls far short of delivering the benefits of a real plan.

Someone stepped forward to say that the "Emperor has no clothes,"  but others moved to keep him from talking -- or to marginalize him by focusing on, e.g., where he lives rather than what he said.

New Hartford Online Blog gives a full account in the post - Utica Master Plan ... hidden agendas?

Thank you, New Hartford Online!


Raleigh said...

Once again, I was frustrated by the OD's failure to inform, and yes -- it is fortunate that parts of the Council meeting were taped and Mr. Montecalvo's printed comments were provided by the New Hartford Online blog.

I have not read the UMP, but as a resident of a rural community north of Utica who intentionally purchased my home and property because of it's rural qualities, Mr. Montecalvo's comments about the Plan's failure to address suburban sprawl drew my interest. Likewise his comments about the danger to the whole region if Utica fails as the region's population base. I agree with those concerns, but I wonder how well Utica acting on it's own, regardless of how well written and conceived is its Master Plan, can address those issues. Seems like cooperation of the whole region would be needed.

At the risk of suggesting even more study, it would benefit our whole region, including the City, for a broader approach to planning be taken. One idea to investigate is, rather than relatively narrow impact decisions about consolidation of town and village governments, why not look into wholesale annexation by the city of immediately surrounding areas?

Anonymous said...


With all that money for a Master Plan, why hasn't the City used the professional services of CGR? This group has a highly reputable standing in many communities.

Their website address:

I am puzzled as to why not?

Strikeslip said...

I don't know how the consultants on the UMP were found and retained. I know that some are local firms, which raises concern over conflicts of interest. From my readings, the best master plans for Utica were the 1908 and 1950 plans, the former by a Boston firm and the latter by one from St. Louis. The 1960 plan, by a local firm, was clearly second rate and the current draft plan --- well it doesn't even rate a rating.