Community Improvement Plan Presented to Council
WETHERSFIELD - A comprehensive community improvement plan will focus on both physical and business development as well as cultural and environmental efforts, amongst other objectives, in Wethersfield, according to a presentation given before the Town Council at the Feb. 19 meeting.
“It’s a document that looks at planning for the community long term,” said Glenn Chalder of Planimetrix. “There’s a lot Wethersfield is doing well, but it’s also changing.”
Chalder cited changing age demographics, as well as a population surge uncharacteristic of stagnation the town has seen in this area in recent years. As of 2012, 28 new businesses have opened in Wethersfield, according to a report given by Peter Gillipsie. He did not have numbers for businesses that have left town, however.
Cultural efforts in town will be aimed at maintaining Wethersfield’s unique, local character, Chalder said. Areas the plan intends to address are based on desires expressed by Wethersfield residents, he said.
“Wethersfield means something to them emotionally,” Chalder said.
While that will mean keeping what’s already working, the plan also looks to enhance the town through additions such as extended sidewalks, trails, improved transit and an expansion of community events.
Environmental efforts include the conservation of Wethersfield Cove, the preservation of open space and the support of local farming-the latter two priorities being exemplified by widespread public support for a recent Council compromise to sell a Wilkus Farm parcel to farmer Richard Nowak and attempt to negotiate the purchase of development rights for land behind Goff Road from developer Ronald Drisdelle.
Another goal of the plan is to meet “diverse housing needs,”an effort that might require an examination of current zoning laws that might restrict how a residence can be constructed, Chadler said.
“It’s going to be a partnership between the town and the private owners,” he said. “It’s not going to happen overnight.”