About Us

What is Planning?
What makes a human being unique: the fact that we can plan. Our greatest achievements have all resulted from our ability to envision the future and muster the methods and resources to achieve it. That is what forms the core set of skills and philosophy underpinning planning everywhere and municipal planning in particular. Planning is not reserved for professional planners. We plan our day, think about our children's future, and plot an itinerary for a vacation trip.
It makes sense to think about the future of our communities and to take the trouble to ensure that the decisions we make today will result in a viable and healthy future for them. Community and regional planners study the way our lives are influenced by physical, economic and social forces. It's their job to help the rest of us shape the kinds of communities and regions we want. Planning involves many tools, including economic and demographic analysis, natural and cultural resources evaluation, goal-setting and implementation.
(Adapted from American Planning Association web site)
The Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development supports 

the intelligent and responsible allocation of resources, the promotion of sound growth, the 
protection and enhancement of the environment and the assurance of a high quality of 
life for all Chautauqua County residents.

The Department of Planning and Economic Development has a broad range of responsibilities. These include the following:

•    Providing land use development and environmental planning assistance to public and private entities, including 239 referrals and review for zoning variance requests;

•    Gathering, compiling, analyzing and disseminating information;

•    Facilitating, assisting and guiding planning efforts among county departments and with outside entities;

•    Grant administration and oversight;

•    Geographic Information System (GIS) Mapping administration, requests and assistance;

•    Oversight and development of the County's Comprehensive Plan (Chautauqua 20/20: A County that Works);

•    Oversight and development of the Chautauqua Lake Watershed Management Plan;

•    Oversight of the New York State Agricultural District Reviews;

•    Coordinating and Assisting with Planning Projects (i.e. – Concord Grape Belt Heritage Area Management Plan);

•    Trail Development Planning, including snowmobile trails, equestrian trails Development, and a county greenway plan;

•    Coordination of the Chautauqua Lake and Chadwick Bay Local Waterfront Revitalization Plans.