By Lisa Capobianco
Connecticut requires the Planning and Zoning Commissions of all towns and cities to revise or adopt a plan of conservation and development at least once every ten years. Currently, the Southington Planning and Zoning Commission is in the beginning stages of revising its plan, which will serve as a guide for development decision-making in a variety of areas such as traffic, open space and design standards among others.
Although the state requires the commission to revise this plan, Zoning Chairman Mike DelSanto said the revision serves as a “good idea to keep an eye on progress” and to ensure that the town is “planning intelligently going forward.”
“It’s a blueprint going forward for the next ten years,” said DelSanto, who also served on the commission when the last plan was amended in 2006.
“It’s updating your vision for the next ten years,” said Jen Clock, a member of the commission. “It’s important to continue moving forward.”
Clock, who also serves as chair of the Plan of Conservation and Devel-opment Subcommittee, said that town can change in the course of ten years. She added that overall, Southington is a diverse town, which could present a variety of challenges, such as maintaining a balance between residential and industrial development.
“We need a balance between the two,” Clock said.
Clock said the revised plan may also address redevelopment of the town, especially with the West Street business zone.
“That has been a big highlight,” Clock said. “Southington is the city of progress—we’re moving forward in all areas.”
DelSanto said one issue that could be addressed again is traffic and major roadways in town, including Queen Street and Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike.
Town Planner Rob Phillips said the town will soon hire a consultant to help the commission write the revised plan. The goal is to hire at least one consultant by mid-May.
Phillips said at that point, the consultant will meet with the subcommittee to “refine the scope,” working together to create a “plan” for revising the plan. He added that the process will also involve communication between the Commission and other town officials for feedback as well as members of the public.
The goal is to complete the plan in 2016.
“We’re just getting started,” said Phillips, adding that the 2006 plan serves as a good foundation for the revised one. “There has been some good work the commission has done—we’re at a different point in time now.”