City of Amsterdam2003 Comprehensive Plan
The City of Amsterdam is at a crossroads as it begins the 21
Century. The City, like many former milltowns in Upstate New York and elsewhere, finds it’s economic base, neighborhoods and commercialareas in transition. The City’s population has been in decline since the 1930’s, the downtown and theneighborhoods around it have suffered from the legacy of Urban Renewal and highway construction, andnew commercial development has occurred mostly outside of the city limits in recent years. The Cityleadership has chosen to undertake a comprehensive planning process to respond to the on-goingeconomic, social, and cultural changes that are shaping the community. It has been about 40 years sincethe City last completed a citywide Master Plan.There is no simple solution to the range of issues that the City of Amsterdam currently faces. For Amsterdam to succeed in implementing the new vision for its future outlined in this comprehensive plan,all parties must agree to work in a long-term, sustained effort toward this vision. Each person andorganization brings its own interests and strengths to the table. But the comprehensive plan shouldchannel the energy of the community’s many actors and stakeholders toward a common set of goals.Building on the dedication of community leaders and volunteers, recent accomplishments along thewaterfront and downtown, successful economic development initiatives, and existing strengths such as thecity’s wonderful neighborhoods, Amsterdam’s future should be viewed with optimism.The City of Amsterdam established the Comprehensive Plan Committee in the summer of 2001. Thecommittee included a cross-section of residents who have been involved in local government andcommunity activities, plus City staff. The committee met approximately monthly at City Hall. All of thecommittee meetings were open to the public, and a portion of the agenda at each was devoted to publiccomment. In addition, a series of Neighborhood Meetings were held around the City in October 2001,and Focus Group Workshops were organized around Economic Development, Senior Issues, and YouthIssues later in the fall and early winter. A Community Survey was conducted in March 2002. Thecomprehensive planning process in Amsterdam has been exemplary in its efforts to involve a broad rangeof participants, and to incorporate their concerns. The ideas contained in this document reflect thecommunity’s input.