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Willington working

to refine new PoCD

By CLAIRE GALVIN

Chronicle Staff Writer

WILLINGTON — The Willington Planning and Zon-ing Commission is working to improve the 2018 plan of conservation and development using community feedback.

The commission and the document planners addressed the town and asked for feedback regarding the new plan at a meeting Sept. 5.

Town residents, town em-ployees and members of various boards and commissions attended the session.

Glenn Chalder of Planimet-rics, who drafted the plan, explained the purpose of having a plan, which is basically a development blueprint for the town’s future.

Town boards and commissions, especially the land-use groups, will consult the development plan when deciding applications regarding development projects.

The plan isn’t binding, but it is a document used to help commission members make a decision.

“We want to figure out where we are going as a community and whether or not that’s, in fact, where we want to be,” Chalder said.

“If it’s not, we should start doing the things that get us to where we want to go, and stop doing the things that are going to be counter-productive in the long run.”

Kathy Demers, the vice chairman of the conservation commission, critiqued the maps given in the plan, saying they did not match the maps the conservation commission has used in the past.

Chalder and PZC Chairman Andrew Marco, who is running for first selectman, said those issues can be resolved before finalizing the plan and they appreciated all her feedback.

Willington First Selectman Christina Mailhos said she found the language of the plan to not be strong enough.

“I wish there was a way to put some language in that’s stronger than ‘strive to involve the other groups,’” Mailhos said. “I think it should be a requirement that the board of finance reads this. I know we can’t legally make them read this. But, there are things that the townspeople want that are in this document.”

Despite the criticism, Mailhos found the plan a great improvement over the 2008 version and said it has accomplished much in the town.

Marco said the plan purposefully uses words like “strive” because the PZC cannot control the boards or commissions in town.

Other members of the public asked for more accountability and more advertisement on plan decisions and meetings.

They also questioned the state budget crisis’s effect on this plan and its implementation.

Chalder said moving forward he will organize the public’s comment and present them to the commission the first week in October.

A public hearing will be scheduled in January after the holidays wrap up in advance of a vote on the development plan by the PZC.

 

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