Plan Of Conservation & Development (POCD)
What is it?
The purpose of a Plan of Conservation & Development (POCD) is to record the best thinking of the Town as to its future growth and to give direction to both public and private development. The Plan encompasses a long term vision of the community but also offers guidance for short term decision making.
The Plan is a tool for guiding the future of the community. It establishes a common vision for the future of a community and then determines policies that will help attain that vision. The goals and recommendations of the Plan are intended to reflect an overall consensus of what Vernon residents feel is desirable for the community in the future.
The Plan should not be thought of as a rigid blueprint but, rather, as a general guide to Town growth. The proposals of the Plan do not have the authority of law or regulation; instead they are broadly based recommendations for the future development and improvement of Vernon over a long period of time. In addition, it is not intended that the recommendations of this Plan be accomplished now or within the next few years. All decisions, however, should be continually related to the direction and nature of development recommended for the Town in its Plan of Conservation and Development.
Chapter 126, Section 8-23, of the Connecticut General Statutes requires that a planning and zoning commission "prepare, adopt and amend a plan of conservation and development for the municipality". The Plan of Conservation and Development provides a basic framework for the use of the land, population distribution, and traffic circulation within a town. Vernon is in the midst of a two year process that will determine the choices we make over the next ten years.
Over the years, the Town has undertaken a number of planning initiatives. The most recent were the 2001 Plan of Conservation and Development and the Rockville Supplement in 2003. Plans were also created in 1961, 1981 and 1991 (with an update in 1995).
The Plan only becomes an official document after a public hearing and adoption by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Once adopted it is used to coordinate community activities, guide land use decisions and regulations, and public projects.
A subcommittee of the Planning and Zoning Commission worked with consultant Planimetrics on the new plan. The subcommittee, which consists of Planimetrics, commission members Walter Mealy, Chester “Chet” Morgan, Town Planner Leonard K. Tundermann, and Town Surveyor Ralph Zahner, completed this decade’s version in early November 2011.
The two year process of creating a ground-up document started in the fall of 2009 and is divided into a series of 8 tasks. At intervals booklets are created and made available online for review. It has been a very open process and the booklets contain a lot of interesting and valuable information about Vernon. For an overview and timetable see Project Scope. For information on the POCD see Booklet #1 - Planning Primer.
Task 1 - Gather information, collect input from Vernon boards and commissions, consult with Town Planner, hold a pubic forum (November 12, 2009) and define issues. The results are in the 12 page Booklet #2 - Planning Issues.
Task 2 - Conditions and Trends - Gather and analyze demographic information, housing, the economy, land use and zoning. Gather or create land use and zoning maps. Done late Fall 2009. The results are in the 24 page Booklet #3 - Conditions & Trends.
Task 3 - Assessment and Strategies Workshops - Conduct a public workshop (January 2010) for input, gather ideas from boards and commissions.
Task 4 - Research and Develop Strategies for Conservation, Development and Infrastructure - These resulted in a Booklet for each category; each booklet is full of interesting information about Vernon. For results see 28 page Booklet #4 - Conservation, 24 page Booklet #5 - Development, and 28 page Booklet #6 - Infrastructure.
Task 5 - Community Telephone Survey (November 2010) - Results collected and shared with PZC. For the survey results see the 48 page Final Survey Report. For just an overview read the Journal Inquirer article on the survey.
Task 6 - Draft POCD - Create the first draft of the new plan. Involves ongoing discussion with PZC subcommittee and town during the Winter and Spring of 2011.
Task 7 - Public Information Meeting - Present to the public on Thursday, June 9, 7 p.m. at the Senior Center. Make revisions to plan based on input.
Task 8 - Plan Adoption - Approval from town including a Public Hearing in September 2011. New Plan should be completed by the end of October.
Results & Implementation
The 2012 POCD will have a long term impact on the Tankerhoosen Valley. It will guide the decisions the Planning & Zoning Commission makes and be a guideline for the town for the next ten years. Developers and builders pushed the plan one way, and preservation and conservation groups pulled the plan the other way. The result was a compromise.
The Planning & Zoning Commission approved the plan on November 17 2011. It went into effect on January 31, 2012. An implementation document was also created setting priorities and assigning responsibility to the town administration and commissions.
The final 2012 POCD document is a wealth of information about our town and includes many maps showing aspects of Vernon's resources. It should be read by every homeowner and taxpayer. Read the 2012 POCD.
The implementation document was drafted in July 2011. The town has yet to approve and adopt the document, however, many of the assigned tasks are being addressed. Read the Draft Implementation Plan.
All the documents and files released during the POCD process are available on Vernon's website at Plan Of Conservation & Development.