At the left, map of 14 regions as represented in the Draft State of Connecticut Plan of Conservation and Developmen 2013-2018.  "About Town" interviews OPM staff here.


The issues In Connecticut:  Some ideas discussed in the last 20 plus years
Where ideas, at the time ahead of themselves, perhaps, started in CT...

Stonington looks into acquiring 4.4 acres of state land in Mystic
By Joe Wojtas
Published December 01. 2015 6:39PM
Updated December 01. 2015 8:11PM
Stonington — The town has begun to look into the possibility of acquiring a 4.4-acre piece of state-owned land in Mystic that contains an abandoned brick armory building.

The town’s Affordable Housing Advisory Committee is discussing the possibility of obtaining the land, which is bordered by Reynolds Hill Road and Summit Street, to provide affordable housing units.

Another potential use, according to First Selectman Rob Simmons, could be as a location to store Mystic storm debris before it is chipped up and hauled away.

But Simmons stressed Tuesday that no decision has been made and that the town is only in the initial stages of deciding whether to proceed with acquiring the land. The site was recently published on a list of state surplus properties...story in full in DAY:

Do you remember this?
Ideas that came and went and now re-appear to be under the guise of regional taxation - this Session!


Smart smart is it?  Getting smarter every year as more open land disappears

How about a term such as "responsible growth" in this, the 21st century?

The Ledyard Fairgrounds at the intersection of routes 117 and 214 and a new Center location.

Program Review and Investigation
- one Committee with equal number of Democrats and Republicans.   Other non-Partican bodies are LCO, OFA, OLR plus the Library and the U.S. GAO.

Search previous PRI studies.

Main point for planners here.
After the great recession, could New York be the city of the future?
Last Updated: 5:02 AM, April 18, 2010
Posted: 12:42 AM, April 18, 2010

Today the great housing-banking crisis of 2008 doesn’t look so much like the collapse of capitalism. What if it wasn’t a lasting blow, either? Better: What if it wasn’t even a temporary setback?

What if the Wall Street meltdown was, when considered as the catalyst in a new system, a good thing?

Such is the thesis of Richard Florida’s enticingly contrarian new book "The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity" (Harper). Other recent books, such as Gregg Easterbrook’s "Sonic Boom," have argued that American dynamism can overcome big shocks, but Florida goes out on a limb in arguing that recent events have provided exciting opportunities to strengthen American socioeconomic might...

Please search the NYPOST archives for the full or remainder of this story.

Anti-Sprawl Tactic Mulled;   Avon Considers Shifting Development From Edges To The Center

By DANIEL P. JONES, Courant Staff Writer
January 15, 2007

AVON -- Avon could become the first Connecticut town to adopt a novel, anti-sprawl approach that lets developers acquire rights to build more housing near the village center in exchange for paying landowners in out-of-the-way sections to keep their property undeveloped.  The town planning and zoning commission is considering a change in its zoning rules that would allow for such programs...

Please search the Hartford Courant archives for the remainder of this story.

Note:  Southwestern CT suburban communities have been missing the same demographic for decades!  Land values cause the problem.
How About Building Community?

Hartford Courant
Rick Green
December 22, 2006

Here's one for the detectives at the governor's new Office of Responsible Growth.

More than 15 percent of the population of students in Regional School District 1 has vanished over the past six years. In the seven-school district, enrollment is down by 314 students since 2000.  Sure, we can ignore the alarming news from this tiny 1,973-student school district. At least it still looks like a Vermont postcard out there in Litchfield County.  Anyway you figure it, losing young families is bad news for a town unless you're a developer planning another one of those depressing over-55 retirement communities springing up all over.

Local officials believe that working parents - not the elite, who send their children to the private Hotchkiss, Kent, Salisbury or similar schools - are opting out. They are being replaced by Manhattanites eager to have a home in gentrified Litchfield County...''

In northwest Connecticut, folks are desperate for some housing leadership from Hartford. Local leaders are watching their towns become antique relics for the privileged - pretty old red barns and town centers with general stores where you can buy a $4 latte and The New York Times.

"You can turn into a museum pretty quick. It's the vitality of the town. You have to start looking at your town plans and make sure there are places for people to work" and live, said Gordon Ridgway, Cornwall's first selectman...

Please search the Hartford Courant archives for the remainder of this story.

Ledyard Looks To Put Itself On The Map For Development
By Jenna Cho
Published on 12/3/2006

Ledyard -- Step into our bedroom community, developer.  Here, 80 percent of the town's grand list is residential property. Five percent is commercial.  The tax burden is heavy on our residents, many of whom work at the casinos, Pfizer Inc., or the Naval Submarine Base.

Rather than build more houses, we'd like to increase our commercial tax base — ideally, to about 25 percent of the grand list. We have some land you can develop.

But we don't want this town to become one giant strip mall. No big-box stores, please. And can we keep development confined to Ledyard Center and Route 12? Can we make Ledyard Center a true town center, with a town green and a village feel?  We've made a good start, but we're thinking, maybe, of a pedestrian-friendly shopping district lined with locally owned retail stores...

“The casino is contained within the reservation,” Palaia said. “You don't need to know what town it's in to go to the casino. ... Everything associated with you going to the casino is in the casino grounds.”

Despite a general sense that the town must plan for imminent economic changes in the region, Ledyard faces some obstacles. It has no municipal sewers on routes 12 and 117, the areas considered most likely to be developed.  Developers tend to build where infrastructure exists. A water line is coming to Route 117, but water alone is not enough to attract commerce.

“Development is market-driven,” Palaia said. “So if it's profitable, somebody will do it. But in order for it to be profitable, the infrastructure has to exist...”

A 1979 report by the town planning department reads: “Ledyard lacks a focus to give it identity. Urban designers have learned that a 'sense of place' is the cornerstone of a meaningful environment. In addition to stone walls and wooded hills, the town needs a center to give character and form to its civic identity.”

Town Councilor Sharon Wadecki said finding that right balance in development is tricky.

“People want development, but they want smart development,” Wadecki said. “They want stuff that's compatible with the area. And things that will bring in people ... but not adversely affect the (area). I think the hope is that we'll somehow strike that balance. Have we been able to do that? Nope.”

Please search the New London DAY archives for the remainder of this story.

U.S. Department Of Sprawl
Hartford Courant
November 20, 2006
Local officials in the Washington, D.C. area, beset with increasing traffic, energy use, pollution and loss of woods and farms to exurban development, are trying to direct development to town centers and transit corridors.

This smart growth strategy makes great sense and might work - if only the federal government would cooperate.

The Washington Post recently reported that U.S. government agencies have scattered tens of thousands of employees to the fringes of the region in recent years, frustrating efforts to manage what has become helter-skelter growth. Officials say the federal government has become the region's master planner, with no mandate from local or county governments, and isn't doing much of a job at it.

"They seem to have no interest in trying to plan for the rational development of a sustainable community," said Fairfax (Va.) County Supervisor T. Dana Kauffman. The Post cites numerous examples of federal workers, including 30,000 military and civilian Pentagon employees from the District and nearby Arlington, being moved to southern Fairfax County, an area with crowded roads and little transit.

This is wrong...

Please search the Hartford Courant archives for the remainder of this editorial.

A Smart Growth Election
Hartford Courant editorial
October 27, 2006

Without a big city like Boston or New York, a sunny climate or a cluster of major league sports teams, Connecticut competes on the national stage with its quality of life. Along with a skilled workforce and vibrant arts, we offer strong, compact communities set in a pleasant New England landscape of village centers and rolling hills...

Perhaps most important, Mr. DeStefano makes the connection between tax policy and bad land-use decisions. As long as towns need property tax revenue to pay for local schools, any green space not legally preserved is in danger of development. He calls for more state funding of local education and less reliance on local property taxes...

Smart growth is not no growth. It's encouraging growth in areas that build communities and preserve our vaunted quality of life. Sentiment for a Connecticut smart growth strategy has been growing for several years...


Step Toward Smart Growth
Hartford Courant editorial
September 10, 2006
Connecticut has lagged behind most Northeastern states in fighting sprawl, resulting in poorly planned, low-density development in many of our suburban and rural towns. Sprawl has meant more traffic congestion and pollution, loss of farms and forests, higher costs for infrastructure and services and a loss of housing variety.

Let's hope that will change.

In an unusually passionate announcement last weekend, Gov. M. Jodi Rell said she's begun a national search for a deputy commissioner of the state Department of Transportation who will focus on mass transit and anti-sprawl measures.

"We need to combat sprawl," Mrs. Rell said...

Please search the Hartford Courant archives for the remainder of this editorial.

Please click on links below to read old NYTIMES reports.

Representative Mushinsky is still in the legislature

From the very, very long NYTIMES Connecticut Section, September 26, 1993.

'Smart growth' is pretty stupid
Editorial, Norwich Bulletin
July 21, 2006

When conservationists talk about "saving" this and "protecting" that, a logical question might be: Saving it from whom? Protecting it from whom? And why should the government force what you want on someone else who obviously wants something different, or there would not be an issue in the first place?

After all, the Constitution says all citizens are entitled to the "equal protection of the laws."

Such questions almost never get asked. Nor do evidence or logic play much of a role in most conservation issues. Instead, we hear rhapsodies about "open space," sneers at "urban sprawl" and self-congratulatory phrases such as "smart growth."

Rhetoric has long since replaced reasons on this as on so many other issues...editorial in full: