As mayor, one of my top priorities will be the completion of a comprehensive zoning plan for the entire City. Such a plan will have input from all neighborhoods and stakeholders and will ensure we protect our residential neighborhoods while allowing for smart, focused growth.
In the last ten years, the population of Tompkins County grew 5.2%. Over the next decade, the County’s population is projected to grow another 5%. We will need to add thousands of housing units to accommodate this growth.
Over the last decade, the majority of this growth happened outside city limits, adding to the number of commuters who use our roads, parks, and services without contributing to city revenues.
The impacts of this growth are evident throughout the City. Traffic chokes our streets, our roads are torn up, our tax base is shrinking.
We can combat this sprawl by focusing the next decades growth in our our City’s urban core: downtown, in Collegetown, and on inlet island.
Increased density will add tax payers to the City, lower the tax burden on all of us, and make property taxes and rents more affordable. This will help ensure all of us can afford to stay in our homes and live in the City.
Increasing housing downtown will also put more people within walking and driving distance of their jobs. This means less commuter traffic, quieter neighborhoods, and safer streets. It also means more people walking past and supporting our local businesses, less money for road repair, lower carbon emissions, and a healthier, more community-oriented City.