The 2020 Comprehensive Plan
The Town of Greece’s 2020 Comprehensive Plan, finalized in March of 2020, recommended a pro-active strategy to maintain and en- hance the Town’s economic health in the face of a rapidly changing economy and job market. Following completion of the plan the Town moved quickly to implement these recommendations with great success. Included here is a summary of actions taken and measurable economic activity in months following completion of the plan.
“In order for Greece to prosper in today’s economy we need to be proactive. Our 2020 Comprehensive Plan provides direction and a framework for supporting local business and adapting to economic change so we can grow our local economy.” “We can’t control the economy, but we can accommodate it as it changes, and that’s just what we’re looking to do.”
Adoption of the 2020 Zoning Ordinance and Map
The Comprehensive Plan recommended zoning changes that would allow for “Growth without Sprawl”. Resulting code changes, adopted on the heels of the new plan, work to focus investment in existing commercial areas, and encouraged adaptive re-use of existing commercial buildings, like the former Sam’s Club space in Elmridge Plaza.
Economic Development and Innovation Overlay (EDIO)
The new Economic Development and Innovation Overlay was established as a way to prioritize and advance important development projects that bring more good paying jobs to Greece.
New Economic Development Office at Town Hall
The 2020 Plan recommended developing a framework for engaging the business community and encouraging economic growth. Last summer the town established an Office of Economic Development within the Planning Department to implement strategies that safeguard and grow the local economy.
GROW Greece Business Assistance Programs
Over the last year, the town implemented the GROW Greece Small Business Assistance Program and a Commercial Occupancy Incentive to help local businesses recover from COVID-19 shutdowns. By the time restrictions began to relax in the summer of 2020, the GROW Greece programs had helped dozens of local businesses open their doors once again to the public. Greece was among the first communities in Upstate New York to provide direct assistance to local businesses during the pandemic.
Green Energy Development
Called out in the 2020 Plan as a key area for growth, green energy has the potential to bring jobs and cost savings to Greece residents in several ways. The town is testing electric fleet vehicles and using solar-sourced power to help save tax payer dollars.
Northampton Landing Development
The Northampton Landing site has long been designated for waterfront access and mixed use development as well as job creating industrial growth. Until recently, interest in this area has been slow to develop with a few exceptions. Acting on recommendations in the 2020 Plan, the Town has taken a major step forward by updating the 20-year-old waterfront development concept and is now pursuing funding and project partners to jumpstart the project.
Keeping our Finger on the Pulse
The Town is tracking available commercial space to stay informed and help find opportunities for new businesses. Tracking investment dollars and jobs created over time will help guide future programs and direct resources.