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Bethlehem advisory board mulls open space

"They'll be asking 'What are our priorities?' The idea is to really go out and start with a clean slate," Leveille said of CACC. "We're going to use John Behan himself as a mentor. Behan has a really good track record."

Behan Associates has been involved in a long list of community planning projects around the Capital District including: the Hudson River Waterfront Strategy; Guilderland's Comprehensive Plan; Halfmoon Town Center Plan; Arbor Hill Neighborhood Plan; and Upper New Scotland-Krumkill Road Neighborhood Plan.

Behan's has created open space and farmland implementations used in Ulster and Orange counties, the towns of Marbletown and Pittsford, and the cities of Syracuse and Saratoga Springs.

The initiative will kick off in March, according to Leveille, who said he expected it would take around a year and a half before the town board is presented with a plan to vote on.

Leveille estimated that the process involving Behan Associates and CACC should take between three and five months, and public hearings will be held on the findings and recommendations.

The town board will have final say on the plan, according to Cunningham.

Libby Liebschutz, who chairs CACC, said her advisory board is ready for the project and realizes its role in creating a townwide open space planning initiative is important.

"The diverse backgrounds of the CACC members will contribute to ensuring broad community participation in this process," Liebschutz said in release. "The CACC will be working with the town to structure ways to get plenty of additional public input as we more forward."

The members of CACC are Liebschutz; Michael DiPaolo; Jeff Freedman; Nancy Heinzen; John Mead; Valerie Newell; Ted Putney; Paul Sieloff; David Erik VanLuven; Michael Waldenmaier; Caleb Wista.

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