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Simsbury Adopts Updated Plan Of Conservation And Development

Simsbury residents and officials have adopted an updated plan that will guide development in town for the next 10 years.

The planning commission approved the updated plan of conservation and development at its Sept. 26 meeting. It goes into effect Nov. 1.

In Connecticut, a municipality's plan of conservation and development must be updated every 10 years. Simsbury's most recent 186-page plan was adopted in 2007.

Simsbury-based Planimetrics, Inc. was hired for the job last fall.

The yearlong update involved a series of community workshops and forums to gauge residents’ opinions on the future of Simsbury and issues the town might be facing at that time.

The 144-page document explains that the plan “provides a framework within which to make informed decisions that will allow Simsbury to continue to be attractive, functional and economically healthy, and an increasingly desirable place to live, work, attend school, play, visit, shop, and invest in the development of the community.

“The goal is to build a community that remains healthy and prosperous over the long term, benefiting the local economy as well as the residents of the place where we live,” the plan reads.

Priorities and strategies set forth in the document include methods for protecting and preserving natural resources and open space, maintaining and enhancing community character and promoting sustainability.

Additionally, the plan calls for promoting and guiding development in areas like Simsbury Center, Tariffville and Weatogue Center, and other unique places in the community, as well as encouraging economic development and guiding residential development.

Some of those recommended initiatives include enhancing the existing “form-based code” for Simsbury Center to add architectural and landscape guidelines and implementing a comprehensive economic development strategy for the town.

Maintaining residential character and other issues related to residential development were also included in the plan.

The town has already gotten a head start on some key areas of the plan. New Jersey development firm The Silverman Group planned to begin construction this week on a mixed-use project at 200 Hopmeadow St.

Additionally, officials are in the process of drafting a bicycle/pedestrian plan for the town, another goal addressed in the updated plan.

Planning commission chairman William F, Rice wrote in a letter that the conservation and development plan is “critical to the future of the town and we anticipate that the implementation strategies and guidance offered in the document will bring the plan to life.”

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