City of Geneva chooses planning consultant

The City of Geneva has hired the consulting firm czb, LLC to design and write a comprehensive plan to help create a more resilient and sustainable community. The firm czb, LLC is an urban planning and neighborhood development consulting firm specializing in neighborhood revitalization. Two subcontractors, Ingalls Planning and Design, and Community Land Use and Economics (CLUE) Group, will work with czb, LLC to help with consulting work. The City’s Steering Committee received seven applications for the position. The winner, czb, LLC, had worked with Geneva in 2008 to develop a Neighborhood Study that guides the neighborhood initiatives and programs active today. The new comprehensive plan is part of Governor Cuomo’s Cleaner, Greener Communities program, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The program seeks to create a more resilient, sustainable community. Some of the goals include stimulating environmentally sustainable economic growth; saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions; promoting smart growth principles; strengthening environmental justice; and protecting and preserving New York State’s natural resources. “The czb, LLC team stood out because the steering committee felt challenged and engaged with them. They will teach the community how to make tough, good choices during the process and implementation. We will work hard with them, and it will be a rewarding process,” said Sage Gerling, Director of the Office of Neighborhood Initiatives. The comprehensive planning process will determine the City’s goals and priorities for community development. The City is also aligning and collaborating with the Town’s current comprehensive planning process, which is an important component.In the RFP proposal submission, czb, LLC stated that the firm wanted to create a plan that “helps ensure a city gets the big things right, anticipates what may be coming down the road, and establish guidelines for how to make decisions for what can’t be predicted…. And where most planning consultants ask communities what they want, czb, LLC asks communities what they are willing to do as citizens to make their community what they say they want it to be.” The City’s last comprehensive plan was completed in 1997, and a new plan is being created to reflect modern planning initiatives. The total cost of the project is $90,000. Geneva’s Local Development Corporation and the Industrial Development Agency are contributing funds to the project. “By asking what its citizens can do to improve transportation, promote smart growth and preserve the environment, the City of Geneva is taking a big step toward resiliency and sustainability,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “The Cleaner, Greener Communities program encourages communities like Geneva to help meet Governor Cuomo’s clean energy goals by embracing new paths to energy efficiency, and this project will continue that effort.” The project will begin in January, and take more than a year to complete.

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