New plan of conservation, development being prepared

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

Plainville is in the process of updating its plan of conservation and development, which must be done every 10 years under Connecticut General Statutes. The town is asking for public input.

“The plan of conservation and development sort of illustrates a road map for the town of Plainville over the next 10 years,” said Mark DeVoe, director of planning and economic development. “What are the future needs moving forward for the town? Not simply a wish list, but verifiable, documentable needs moving forward.”

These needs could come in the form of services, service provisions, infrastructure, sanitary sewer, utilities, and facilities, to name a few.

DeVoe said Plainville has hired Glenn Chalder of Planimetrics, a consulting firm based in Simsbury, Connecticut. Chalder has been meeting with the Planning and Zoning Commission on a monthly basis, and these workshops led the PZC to develop and conduct a survey that will close Aug. 8.

The surveys will be sent to Planimetrics, allowing residents an opportunity to be more involved in the process.

“It’s a very general survey, and it’s meant to elicit very emotional responses in terms of… ‘What do you think about the town? What do you think about this? What do you think about that?’ and so, the survey attempts to get a grassroots response to some very broad questions, which have been developed and refined to help focus the planning effort,” said DeVoe.

The questions touched on topics such as housing, business, open space land, recreation, facilities, and other broad issues concerning the town.

The current plan of conservation and development, completed in 2009 by Urbitran Planning Consultants, cost Plainville $125,000.

“The plan we’re going to be putting together is roughly $50,000,” said DeVoe. “We do have some contingency in there if additional studies are warranted or needed, but we don’t expect it. We do not expect it to go over $70,000, and if we can keep it at $50,000, which the taxpayers should be happy to hear, we’re going to try to do that. I think we’re able to do that because we have more in-house resources.”

DeVoe said he hopes to have the plan completed by February of 2019, but before then, the PZC must approve the plan and refer it to the town council. If  adopted by both the council and PZC, it will be referred to the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management to ensure it is consistent with both the state plan of conservation and development, and the regional plan of conservation and development.

Before that process begins, there will be a series of public hearings, so DeVoe urges residents to “watch the town website, and read the public notices.”

For more information regarding the plan of conservation and development, or to find the survey, please contact the Office of Planning and Economic Development, (860)793-0221, or visit their website, www.plainvillect.com/planning-and-economic-development-department.