Comprehensive Plan for the Town of Ovid:

As Submitted by the Town of Ovid Planning Board to the Town Board




The Town of Ovid Planning Board offers the following master plan to further the quality of residential life in the Town, support its agricultural businesses, and maximize its commercial and industrial opportunities, and at the same time protect its heritage, environment, and natural resources.


The Town of Ovid, in conjunction with the Village, consists of 31.4 square miles of territory in Seneca County with East and West boundaries of Cayuga and Seneca Lakes.  It is primarily an agricultural area.  In recent years, there has been a major change with the increased production of grapes and the establishment of many new estate wineries.  This, along with 7.5 miles of waterfront along the two largest Finger Lakes, has produced an increase in the economy due to seasonal tourism. 


At this time, the Town recognizes the need to establish a master plan to provide basic guidelines that can be used to preserve and protect our environmental and natural resources, as well as establishing guidelines for land use, agriculture, residential housing, commercial and industrial development and activity, and utility services.  With these guidelines in place, it provides the Town and Village a means to ensure that all residents follow the same goals in developing and protecting the land within the community.




The Town of Ovid has diverse residential development, ranging form high density in the village and some areas of the shoreline to more scattered development in the remainder of the town.  It is the intention of the Town to plan orderly growth, keeping in mind the protection of environmentally sensitive areas, the local economy, and the overall quality of life for area residents.



1. Establish guidelines for residential development.


2. Consider environmental impact of any new development.


3. Encourage the development of recreational areas in high-density neighborhoods.



1. Establish zoning ordinances and variance procedures.


2. Develop standards for area development.

            A. Lot sizes

            B. Minimum house sizes(square feet)

            C. Setbacks

            D. Subdivision regulations


3. Review and enforce mobile home codes.


4. Develop requirements for multiple-unit development.


5. Establish standards for multiple-unit dwellings.




The Town of Ovid has a limited commercial sector and no local industry.  It intends to foster a modest increase in its commercial sector—retail outlets, offices, and professional services—and to concentrate future commercial development in areas where there is already commercial activity.  In augmenting its commercial sector, the town seeks to balance needs of vehicles and pedestrians.  It also seeks to confine further commercial development of the lake shores to projects that will not detract from the quality of life along the lakes. 


While the Town may not see the introduction of light industry in the near future, it could benefit from new jobs that could result from new industry and should therefore create an environment that would be hospitable to industry by anticipating developer needs and community requirements.



1. Identify the community’s commercial-sector needs.


2. Identify areas best suited to future commercial use, including the lakeshores.


3. Assess adequacy of services , utilities and transportation to serve this development.


4. Identify areas with potential industrial use, anticipate services needed.


5. Work with Village of Ovid to anticipate any future expansion of water, sewer, and emergency services.



1.  Create zoning regulations that will encourage commercial development.


2. Develop guidelines for development of home-based businesses in residential areas.




Historically,  agriculture has played a vital role in preserving the integrity of our town by maintaining quality agricultural land, providing jobs, maintaining open spaces, and expanding tourism.



1.  Maintain agribusiness’s support of local business and community organizations.


2.  Support positive effects of agribusiness on local property values.


3.  Support the role of agribusiness as a significant employer.


4.  Maintain open space and scenic vistas.


5.  Support growth of estate wineries and fresh market outlets for tourism and revenue to the local economy.



Agribusiness will be positive and successful in our town, provided the planning board and local officials encourage the environment for farms and businesses to be successful.  Such plans should include;


1. Support Best Management Practices, New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, and Federal and State guidelines on new agricultural development.


2.  Encourage Agribusiness through rigorous examination of any future land tax increases and their impact on agriculture.


3.  Encourage growth and investment in successful agribusiness and agri-tourism


4.  Maintain adequate roadways for the transportation of good an services


5.  Encourage new agribusiness development in areas that have the least impact on current residential concentration. 




While no services fall  directly under the control of the Town of Ovid, these services are vital to the continued well-being of the Town.  Many of the services on which the Town of Ovid depends fall under the jurisdiction of the village of Ovid, i.e., fire protection, water and sewer.



1. The continued excellent working relationship shared by the Town and Village is vital to the Town of Ovid.



1. Fire protection: Continue to work with the village and the Ovid Fire Department to maintain and expand the level of service.


2. Water & sewer: Work with the Village and County to expand the districts as needed.


3. Electric & Gas: Make the Town accessible for possible expansion of natural gas service.


4. Police: Continue to make our Town a safe and friendly place to live.


5. Ambulance: Create a service fee, tax, in order for the ambulance to provide 24-hour service within the Town, either volunteer or compensated.




The Town of Ovid is located between the two largest Finger Lakes, the East shore of Seneca Lake and the West shore of Cayuga Lake.  The Town population increases during the summer months due to lake usage.  It is important that the Town recognizes this factor and has plans in place to protect the lakes and the land adjoining them while also welcoming the increase in tourism.



1. To protect and preserve our natural resources on our lakes and adjoining properties.



1. Create guidelines that will insure and preserve the environmental quality of the lakes, streams, and land that are within the Town of Ovid.


2. Create zoning guidelines to regulate all commercial and residential development in terms of usage and density of all lakefront property.


3. Create zoning guidelines to regulate off-road and onshore advertising, in terms of size of media and impact on the appearance of natural areas.


4. Insure that the Town Park and State Golf Course, located on the shores of both lakes, do not create any environmental problems.  Every effort should be made to make these public areas available to all people while maintaining the natural beauty of the area.


5. All private clubs and organizations located on the Lakes shall be required to comply with all regulations, codes, and environmental rules that apply to lakefront property within the Town.