Busti Poised For Growth

If southern Chautauqua County really is on its way up, then Busti is primed for growth.

Much of the commercial development that happens in southern Chautauqua County happens in Lakewood, which is in the northern portion of Busti. The southern portion of Busti is largely rural and agricultural – and open for continued new housing development and even some commercial development. That dichotomy is one reason it is encouraging to see Busti’s completed comprehensive plan and its recent approval by the Busti Town Board.

Given its 47.8-square-mile territory and its proximity to Jamestown, Busti is a vitally important piece of the puzzle for a healthy Chautauqua County.

Reading the comprehensive plan simply reinforces the notion that the best may be yet to come for Busti. It is with this thought in mind town officials underwent a comprehensive planning process for the first time since 1972. The 70-page document can largely be broken down into 11 recommendations that include maintaining the town’s small town character, building on the town’s status as a bedroom community to Jamestown, guiding and controlling development, retaining and improving the town’s lakefront property while allowing integration of new uses, for the hamlet of Busti to be a small, vibrant community with a culture that attracts new businesses and residents; and for Fairmount Avenue to become a more pedestrian and vehicle friendly corridor with gateway transition zones, containing small businesses and residences, which blend with the community’s character.

The goals are reinforced with short- and long-term action steps, but perhaps the most important is the creation of a Comprehensive Plan Oversight Committee made up of elected officials and community members to make sure the plan is implemented. As we have seen with Jamestown’s Renaissance Corporation and the city’s urban design and neighborhood plans, it is important to have a group driving implementation of such documents.

Busti has already seen encouraging development in recent years – including the massive expansion at Southern Tier Brewery and 88 new houses outside the village of Lakewood from 2000 to 2010. Proper implementation of the town’s comprehensive plan can only position the town to build on those successes.