Report by Paula Antolini, March 18, 2019, 1:53PM EDT
The Bethel Planning & Zoning Commission is hosting a public workshop on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. as part of the Town’s Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) update. The meeting will be held in the multipurpose room at the Municipal Center.
The purpose of the meeting is to solidify the vision for the Town over the coming decade. The POCD will contain goals and visions, along with recommended action steps to work towards achieving those goals. The planning process involves assessing current conditions and trends in order to develop reasonable goals and strategies, and engaging the community in a dialogue on its future.
Please visit https://www.bethel-ct.gov/content/117/262/17044.aspx .
If you want to provide input on a specific topic, but cannot attend the workshop, please e-mail your ideas to POCD@bethel-ct.gov.
What is a POCD?
Town of Bethel Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC), with assistance from the planning consulting firm of Milone & MacBroom, Inc. (MMI), is preparing an update to the Town’s Plan of Conservation and Development, or POCD. The POCD is a guidance document that will provide a long-term vision for the Town and guide decision making relating to growth, development, and conservation over the next ten years.
The State of Connecticut requires municipalities to update their POCD every ten years.
As a comprehensive plan, the POCD will look at a range of topics that will influence Bethel over the coming decade, including demographics, housing, land use, community facilities, infrastructure, economic development, open space, recreation, transportation, and sustainability. While it is important to understand data and trends, it is equally important to understand the priorities of the community. There are several ways for the public to get involved throughout the process, including public workshops, pop-up events and community surveys.
The POCD Process
The PZC will review updated information on demographic, housing, land use, economic and other trends to understand existing conditions. Coupled with this data analysis, input from the community through a community survey and workshops will enable the PZC to identify Bethel’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in order to craft a community vision for the next ten years. Formulating objectives and strategies that advance this vision will be done through a participatory and iterative process that includes ample opportunities for the public to weigh in through further workshops, surveys and planning exercises. The PZC will oversee the development of the draft Plan of Conservation and Development, which will be forwarded to the Board of Selectmen and the regional council of governments for their review and comment prior to adoption.
The entire planning process is anticipated to last through early 2019. We want the community to get involved in the planning process in order to set a clear vision and supported objectives for the POCD. Several opportunities for engagement will occur throughout the planning process. If you want to provide input on a specific topic, but cannot attend a meeting or event, please e-mail your concerns to POCD@bethel-ct.gov