path for a sustainable future

Character Areas

Character Areas delineate areas of common identity and qualities and provide guidance on issues relevant to each category, such as revitalizing Main Street or protecting farmland. These delineations recognize that each area is inherently different and will require its own mix of goals and strategies to preserve and enhance those qualities that make it great. The guidance provided as part of each Character Area is meant to inform readers of emerging concepts for sustainable communities and provide conceptual guidance on how each area can embrace these concepts and plan for a sustainable future.

The generalized Character Area map (below) illustrates existing settlement patterns and distribution of built and natural resources. As these conditions are expected to change, the current map will evolve over time and be used to benchmark County-level change. The accompanying discussion and guidance for each character area is intended to:

  • Identify and define the unique characteristics or qualities relating to the form and function of each area;
  • Inform users of emerging concepts for sustainable communities and provide conceptual guidance on how each area can embrace these concepts and plan for a sustainable future; and
  • Offer Smart Growth tools and best practices to help communities protect and enhance the livability and sustainability of all our unique places.

As part of the planning process, ten Character areas were identified in Onondaga County (follow the links for more information on each):

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