What is a Regional Plan?
What is a Regional Plan of Conservation and Development?
Section 8-35a of the Connecticut General Statutes states that "[a]t least once every ten years, each regional council of governments shall make a plan of conservation and development for its area of operation, showing its recommendations for the general use of the area including land use, housing, principal highways and freeways, bridges, airports, parks, playgrounds, recreational areas, schools, public institutions, public utilities, agriculture and such other matters as, in the opinion of the council, will be beneficial to the area. Any regional plan so developed shall be based on studies of physical, social, economic and governmental conditions and trends and shall be designed to promote with the greatest efficiency and economy the coordinated development of its area of operation and the general welfare and prosperity of its people. Such plan may encourage energy-efficient patterns of development, the use of solar and other renewable forms of energy, and energy conservation. Such plan shall be designed to promote abatement of the pollution of the waters and air of the region. The regional plan shall identify areas where it is feasible and prudent (1) to have compact, transit accessible, pedestrian-oriented mixed use development patterns and land reuse, and (2) to promote such development patterns and land reuse and shall note any inconsistencies with the following growth management principles: (A) Redevelopment and revitalization of regional centers and areas of mixed land uses with existing or planned physical infrastructure; (B) expansion of housing opportunities and design choices to accommodate a variety of household types and needs; (C) concentration of development around transportation nodes and along major transportation corridors to support the viability of transportation options and land reuse; (D) conservation and restoration of the natural environment, cultural and historical resources and traditional rural lands; (E) protection of environmental assets critical to public health and safety; and (F) integration of planning across all levels of government to address issues on a local, regional and state-wide basis. The plan of each region contiguous to Long Island Sound shall be designed to reduce hypoxia, pathogens, toxic contaminants and floatable debris in Long Island Sound."
Although RiverCOG's two predecessor agencies (Estuary RPA and Midstate RPA) had regional plans of varying ages, as a newly formed Council of Governments, the agency has never established a Regional Plan of Conservation and Development, so this one is it's first. The Regional Planning Committee has spent a great deal of time discussing the various topics that should be included and how to reach out to the seventeen member municipalities and their residents. The Regional Plan will guide policies within the region for the next ten years.