WOODBURY – The new Plan of Conservation and Development, which was officially adopted at a meeting of the Planning Commission on January 8, became effective on February 1.

The POCD, required by state statute to be updated every 10 years, is meant to serve as a guide for the future of the town.

The POCD’s vision is to retain and attract residents, to excel in stewardship and to diversify the economy of Woodbury. The POCD has six goals, along with accompanying strategies, action items and implementation steps.

The first goal is to protect and foster stewardship of the town’s environmental resources. The plan calls on the Conservation Commission to identify any needed improvements of town-owned open space properties and to identify open space that is a priority for protection or acquisition.

It tasks the town and regional school district with implementing sustainable practices and enhancing appreciation and stewardship of the region’s environmental resources, and it urges the Inland Wetlands Commission to review its regulations and amend as necessary.

The second goal is to protect, improve and expand on the town’s cultural and educational resources. The plan asks the town and regional school district to work together to identify cultural and educational needs within the town and the schools and to collaborate with other organizations to promote the area’s cultural and educational offerings.

The third goal centers on transportation and infrastructure. Among the suggested strategies are a commitment to improve the town’s pedestrian network, to explore developing a greenway within the town, to reduce stormwater impacts and to develop a management and maintenance plan for the town’s roads.

It also suggests conducting a corridor study of Route 6 and improving the digital infrastructure to include high-speed internet connectivity.

The fourth goal deals with the town’s facilities and services. The plan’s five strategies are to develop a facilities plan that addresses town requirements for office space and for interior recreation and community space; to develop a parks and recreation master plan; to improve internal and external communications; to strategically implement a an approved Hazard Mitigation Plan; and to support energy efficient and renewable energy sources.

The fifth goal is to ensure an appropriate mix of housing to meet current and future needs. Strategies focus on the review of town land use regulations to assure the character of the town is protected while allowing flexibility and facilitating the development of affordable housing.

The final goal is to build a diverse economy around small-scale, independently owned enterprises. To achieve this goal, the POCD recommends seven strategies. Among the action steps suggested are the re-establishment of the Business and Economic Development Committee, review of zoning regulations and adoption of design standards, and a review of the permitting process by the land use office and the building department.

The plan identified six priorities for implementation. They are updating the town’s regulations, working with the school district and Bethlehem to reduce Region 14’s cost structure while strengthening its educational programs, strengthening the relationship with the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments and the Northwest Connecticut Coalition to leverage the work done by these organizations, developing a facilities plan, improving and expanding the town’s pedestrian network, and developing a management and maintenance plan for the town’s roads, bridges and sidewalks.

The Planning Commission is responsible for overseeing the implementation of this 10-year plan. The plan is available for download on the town’s website, woodburyct.org. From the home page, click on Departments, choose Land Use/Town Planner. The link to the 2020 Plan of Conservation and Development in in graphic at the lower right side of the page.

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