Thursday, March 11, 2010

P&Z votes to approve the Plan of Conservation and Development

The P&Z Commission absent 3 regular members Adams, Plum, and Russo completed  approval of Middletown's 2007 Draft Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) at last nights P&Z meeting.

Before the votes were taken on Chapters 6-10, the director of Planning Conservation and Development, Bill Warner, made a statement to Commissioners noting that time was running out to meet a CT state deadline to submit the POCD, due in the end of June this year. The legislation he referenced is Public Act No. 07-239 An Act Concerning Responsible Growth and CT general statues 8-23. Warner indicated that if the city does not submit the document on time, the city could risk losing being awarding certain grants and funding tied to submission of a POCD.  Mr. Warner added that the city was preparing to apply for some open space grants and wanted to have this document in the hands of the state before submitting those applications, due in April. He also stated, by way of assurance that a POCD is "a live document" that can be amended as needed or warranted by the P&Z as long as a public hearing is held as required by state law. He urged the commission to approve the remaining chapters of the POCD tonight without further delay.

Commissioner Catherine Johnson stated that the work of revising and editing the POCD was not finished. She expressed the belief that the vote could wait, and that the document could be completed and voted on before the June deadline. While it appeared Commissioners were in agreement with Ms. Johnson that the POCD was not complete, the concerns expressed by Mr. Warner and the sentiments of Commissioner McClellan quoting General Patton that "a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow" won the vote of all the other commissioners to approve the POCD chapters 6-10 and the statement on Alternate Modes of Transportation as written. No mention was made of chapter 11 which may  have been incorporated into another chapter. (?) The only piece of the POCD left needing approval is the implementation guide section, though Mr. Warner stated the POCD itself is now complete.

During discussions, commissioners vowed to continue working in earnest on the POCD and to amend the document as needed in the coming months.

The timeline of the meetings and benchmarks related to updating the POCD can be found here.

The public was given legal notice of a public hearing on chapters 1-5 and the prologue in a legal notice. The agenda for July 9th, 2008 did not mention the public hearing. For a record of the discussion and vote see P&Z July 9th, 2008 minutes and notice of decision July 9, 2008.

The March 10, 2010 agenda included information on the proposed updates to chapters 6-10 of the POCD under old business, but it was not made   clear in the language of the agenda that a formal vote for inclusion of these chapters in the POCD would take place tonight. The legal notice regarding a public hearing (?) for approving chapters of the POCD was not found  posted on the departments website at the time of this post.  I do recall  however, viewing a notice on the departments website under UPCOMING Meetings, that they had posted notice of this P&Z meeting and included links to each chapter, but as the date of the meeting has passed those links appear to have been removed.

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