Southbury asks the public about his master plan

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SOUTHBURY – The city is looking for input from residents and the business community as it updates its 10-year master plan.

First Selectman Jeffrey Manville said the city is updating its conservation and development plan, which will serve as a guide for future growth in Southbury. Often abbreviated as POCD, the plan was last updated in 2012.

“The state requires communities to update their POCDs every 10 years to determine what they plan for the future, with goals that focus on housing, business and infrastructure development, as well as parks, open spaces and sustainability,” said Manville.

The city has just started the process, which includes feedback from the public and businesses, he said.

“At some point there will be public gatherings,” he said. “Residents, community members, businesses and organizations are encouraged to participate and share their opinions.”

The Southbury Planning Commission, Land Use Department staff, and Cheshire-based consulting firm SLR International Corporation (formerly Milone and MacBroom, Inc.) are overseeing the update.

Part of the public input comes from a survey that the Planning Commission and SLR conducted for residents. Questions relate to Southbury quality of life, recreation, land use and other issues. Information and a link to the survey can be found on the city’s website at southbury-ct.org/pocd.

Paper copies of the survey are available from Southbury Town Hall, 501 Main St. South; Southbury Senior Center, 561 Main Street South; Southbury Parks and Recreation, 561 Main St. South; Southbury Library, 100 Poverty Street; and Heritage Village Activities Building, 11 Heritage Way.

Asking for public input is nothing new. City officials recently asked Southbury residents to share ideas on how to spend the federal funds granted by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

“We get input from the public on a lot of things,” said Manville, who has been the first Selectman for six years. “This is not uncommon, and we have reached out to the community many times during my tenure. At ARPA we needed input and now we need input from residents and the economy again and will take up their ideas. “

The feedback was helpful, he said. For example, when the city asked residents about its strategic plan in 2018, officials found that 51.3 percent of residents rated the quality of life in Southbury as “good” while 47.8 percent rated it as “great”.

“It helps you be better prepared when you make decisions,” said Manville.

At the same time, the city is working on an affordable housing plan with the help of SLR International. A government grant of $ 6,500 will help meet the costs, Manville said.

“It made sense to have both plans carried out by SLR because they are linked,” he said.

Manville said affordable housing is an “important” issue in the city.

“We have little affordable housing in Southbury, but there is some,” he said. “The state encourages local authorities to get 10 percent of affordable housing. But it takes time and there are problems. There’s the cost of it, you need to find land to build on, and you need health department approval for items like sewage treatment plants. The POCD will be ready soon, but it will take time to finalize the affordable housing plan. “


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