WINSTED — The Plan of Conservation and Development that helps to guide community decisions is in place for another 10 years, as it’s been adopted by the Planning & Zoning Commission.
Members held a public hearing this week to review proposed updates and changes to the document, which is used to monitor growth, update and amend zoning regulations, find funding for improvement projects, and provide an overall snapshot of the municipality and its assets. It inventories the town, reviews its regulations and makes changes as needed.
“We had about a dozen people at the hearing, and good questions were asked,” PZC Chairman George Closson said. “No controversial issues were brought up.”
The commission then approved the document. “It was well done,” Closson said. “It’s now on the website, including 14 maps that were requested.”
“I already have seen an email from our town manager (Josh Kelly), who has sent notification to our various state agencies that need to know (about the approval of the revised POCD),” he said.
In Winsted’s POCD, the commission set goals for itself, which are part of the update process, including promoting Smart Growth principles, maintaining long-term financial viability, providing a range of housing, and supporting open space preservation, protecting state assets and encouraging residents to further those goals in their own land management practices.
Winsted recently updated its blight and noise ordinances, a project involving Kelly, the commission and other staff members, who conducted a review of those rules. Town Attorney Kevin Nelligan wrote the revisions and the Board of Selectmen are scheduled to vote on them Sept. 7.
In developing the 2011 POCD, the commission took a natural resources inventory in 2009, and conducted a corridor study, a watershed protection study and a traffic study. Closson said the commission has spent many months reviewing each area of the plan during the last year, to determine whether changes were needed.
Funding for road repairs, renovating old buildings into usable office or retail spaces in Winsted’s old mill buildings, upgrades for safety and traffic and upgrading roadways, often supported by grants or other state or federal funding, are a result of the POCD, Closson said, recently.
“We’ve got a small city, and we’ve taken advantage of supporting it with this document,” he said.
Residents can find the updated POCD online at www.townofwinchester.org.