Wilton’s future plan is in place

Businesses in Wilton Center are open, offering shoppers alternatives to coming into town.

Businesses in Wilton Center are open, offering shoppers alternatives to coming into town.

Jeannette Ross / Hearst Connecticut Media

The town of Wilton has a new Plan of Conservation and Development.

Adopted at the Planning and Zoning Commission’s meeting on Sept. 23, the plan became effective on Oct. 1 and will guide development in Wilton over the next 10 years. The 137-page document may be accessed at wiltonct.org.

Divided into eight chapters, the plan focuses primarily on how Wilton looks today and its vision for the future through the:

 Natural and Historical Environment.

 Human and Economic Environment.

 Built Environment.

The plan also addresses future land use and the implementation process.

At the commission’s Sept. 23 meeting, chair Scott Lawrence said of prospective applications “you have to address transportation, you have to address connectivity,… you have to comply with master planning, and whatever the design guidelines resulting from that would be.”

Wilton’s previous POCD, was shorter and more compartmentalized, he said, but that led to a non-holistic view of applications.

“The goal frankly, is that an applicant looks at every one of these [criteria] before they bring an application,” he said.

Applicants for a project would ideally present how they are addressing the human and economic environment, and natural and historical environment, “in order to make sure the project is built with sensitivity towards design, Wilton’s heritage, and how do I do that inside the built environment of Wilton,” Lawrence said.

An executive summary of the POCD, put together with consultant Milone and MacBroom, will be forthcoming and a shorter version of the plan will be the province of the next commission to be formed after the Nov. 5 election. Five of the commission members are up for reelection.


Natural and Historical Environment includes the town’s historic resources, open space, trails, natural resources and habitats as well as energy and sustainability programs.

Demographics, housing, schools, town government and general economic development come under Human and Economic Environment.

The Built Environment covers physical and design development, including village centers, commercial corridors, transportation, infrastructure and town facilities.

Each of these sections drill down to the town’s goals and the issues and trends affecting each.

For example, under the goal of conserving open spaces and greenways is a further goal of developing a River Walk in Wilton Center between Schenck’s Island and the train station. This should be evaluated as part of the Wilton Center Master Plan, it says.

Under water resources and conservation, a plan to develop a strategy to limit future water diversion projects is enumerated.

The plan indicates “Wilton needs a greater variety of housing types” as well as a need for housing that those households earning less than $100,000 a year (28 percent in 2015) as well as less than $50,000 per year (13 percent in 2015).

Increasing the availability of multi-family housing and smaller housing options is also an objective.

At the same time, preserving Wilton’s lower-density neighborhoods is also a goal.

Wilton’s Built Environment encompasses Wilton Center, Cannondale, Georgetown, and the transportation network.

The plan identifies Wilton Center and the nearby Route 7 area as the greatest opportunity to grow the grand list. It also identifies Route 7, in areas south of Olmstead Hill Road where sewer and water service are available, as being able to support higher-density development.

Route 7 at Wolfpit Road south to Norwalk would allow for more intense commercial development.

More commercial, residential and mixed-use development is recommended heading north, from Wolfpit to Cannon roads.

The POCD suggests as an objective conducting a master planning process for Cannondale which would encourage mixed-use, residential and commercial development “of an appropriate scale.”

For Georgetown, the goal is strengthening it through mixed-use, transit- and pedestrian-oriented development. A master plan is also an objective.

The plan concludes with a summary of the goals, objectives and strategies, which agencies would implement those efforts.