By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing June 22 for residents and other stakeholders to comment on the proposed update of the city’s master Plan of Conservation and Development, Mayor Edward M. O’Brien and commission Chairwoman Kathleen Hendricks announced.
The meeting is slated for 7 p.m. in the Carrigan Intermediate School auditorium, 2 Tetlow St.
O’Brien said the Plan of Conservation and Development, or POCD, will steer the development of West Haven and the protection of its open space and conservation areas for the next decade.
State law requires municipalities to update conservation and development plans, which set out goals for the future, every 10 years.
West Haven’s current POCD was adopted in 2004.
People can review the proposed plan, which requires P&Z approval, on the city’s website athttp://www.cityofwesthaven.com/DocumentCenter/View/785.
Paper copies of the plan are also available for review in the city clerk’s and planning and development offices at City Hall, 355 Main St., as well as at the Main Library, 300 Elm St.
The POCD update was developed under the guidance of the Plan of Conservation and Development Steering Committee, an 11-member panel appointed by O’Brien a year ago, said Hendricks, who serves on the committee with “residents of different neighborhoods, local businesspeople, government leaders and local university representatives.”
The other committee members are University of New Haven representative Louis Annino, West Haven Black Coalition President Carroll E. Brown, attorney Aaron Charney, Yale University representative Justin Freiberg, Hamden Hall teacher Karl Gasteyer, mayoral Executive Assistant John W. Lewis, Board of Education Chairman James W. Morrissey, West Haven Chamber of Commerce Director Alan R. Olenick, engineer Christopher Phillip Onofrio and Councilman Sean P. Ronan, D-9.
During the yearlong development of the POCD, the city encouraged the public to participate in the process through in-person events and workshops and via the plan’s website at www.planwesthaven.com.
“To be effective, the POCD needed to reflect the highest-priority issues and concerns of the public,” O’Brien said. “I am pleased with the hard work of the Steering Committee over the past year, and I am grateful to the residents and other stakeholders who participated in the planning process.”
Hendricks said: “I would like to thank everyone who came out and participated in the workshops and public meetings. I feel the proposed plan is responsive to the opportunities and challenges residents raised during those sessions.”
Hendricks added that “Residents want to see some development along parts of the waterfront, but only if our beaches and natural areas are protected.”
“We also heard that people want to see the continued development of Allingtown, the revitalization of downtown, new development around the train station, and improved transit routing and connections,” she said.
Through a competitive request for proposal process, the city hired a consulting team led by The RBA Group of Norwalk, now known as NV5, to help prepare the plan.
Neil Desai, NV5’s senior city planner who directed the West Haven POCD planning process, said: “The POCD presents a strategic approach to stimulating economic development in West Haven. Residents recognize the potential that the city has, and this plan aims to put together all the right pieces to guide the city toward reaching its full potential.”
City Planning and Development Commissioner Joseph A. Riccio, Jr. and Assistant City Planner David W. Killeen served as resources for the Steering Committee and the plan update process.
For information, visit www.planwesthaven.com or call the planning and development office at (203) 937-3580.