Ellington residents contribute ideas to conservation plan

ELLINGTON — Residents and town officials on Thursday came up with ideas for the town’s updated Plan of Conservation and Public Development, saying the community should look to continued investments in the preservation of farm land as well as other land that may be subject to commercial development.

The plan is updated every 10 years and was last changed in 2008.

The public information meeting was hosted by the Ellington Plan of Conservation and Development Update Committee, or POCD, the Ellington Planning Department, and East Hartford-based Goman & York Property Advisors.

Goman & York Senior Vice President Donald Poland helped to get ideas from the crowd of over a dozen residents to help shape the plan. Poland said that the plan of conservation and development is a “valuable document to the community to help guide us in our decision making process.”

He also defined it as a statement of policies, goals, and standards for the physical and economic development of the municipality, and the planning commission’s recommendations for the most desirable use of land.

During the meeting at the high school, Poland and company senior consultant Steve Kushner, asked residents what they classify as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the community.

Among the town’s strengths, several residents said, are the community’s being fiscally conservative, its agriculture, and its schools.

Residents said that weaknesses include a lack of diversity in the community, lack of retail services, and road infrastructure issues.
Threats to the community, according to residents, include negative views of the state and the growing residential areas in surrounding towns.

Residents also said that opportunities that the town has, and could invest in, include continuing to improve schools, preserve farms, encourage agricultural tourism, and use land for some industry and small businesses.

Goman & York also surveyed residents to see where they would like to see the town investing, and the company will take this information into consideration while coming up with a vision statement, Poland said.

Residents who could not attend the meeting are encouraged to search “Ellington POCD Update 2018” on Facebook, where updates will be released.

There is also a quiz posted on the Facebook page that residents can take to voice their opinions on what the town should be including in its plan of development and conservation.

Poland said that the process of coming up with a plan can run for about a year, and there will be more public meetings and many opportunities for residents to get involved.

Article was originally published in the Journal Inquirer by Megan Krementowski