A public hearing will take place Thursday evening, July 18, that is unlike most of the other public hearings held throughout the year. Whereas many public hearings by Wilton\u2019s boards and commissions might interest only a percentage of the community \u2014 as with land use issues, zoning issues, or some recreational issues \u2014 this hearing will affect everyone. It is the public\u2019s opportunity to be heard on the draft Plan of Conservation and Development and it begins at 7 p.m. at the Trackside Teen Center at 15 Station Road. The plan is only updated every 10 years, so there won\u2019t be another crack at this until 2029. Anyone who cares about how the town will grow, how it will look, how people will travel, how they will live, how they will prosper should plan on being there. According to the plan, the town is looking forward through \u201ckey land-use issues like demographics, housing, conservation, sustainability, transportation, facilities, infrastructure and economic development.\u201d It also looks at how the town will face outside challenges from things like the effects of internet commerce and telecommuting on the local economy, state regulations and fiscal policies, general cost of living, and housing affordability. How will the town\u2019s environmental and historic resources be protected? The Planning and Zoning Commission has invited public participation through no fewer than nine open meetings over the past year and a half and surveys on housing; transportation; community facilities and infrastructure; Wilton Center and the areas of Cannondale, Georgetown, Silvermine, northwest Wilton and, southwest Wilton, and southeast Wilton; as well as a \u201cvisioning\u201d survey. A telephone survey conducted in December drew 404 responses and the vast majority of those responding \u2014 92.4 percent \u2014 reported their quality of life living in Wilton was good or very good. The \u201cright\u201d Plan of Conservation and Development \u2014 created through broad community input \u2014 can help keep it that way. The draft plan is lengthy \u2014 134 pages \u2014 but it covers a lot of ground. A look at the table of contents will tell you it looks at Wilton today, what the vision and plan are, the town\u2019s natural and historical environment, human and economic environment, built environment, future land use plans, and how it all might be implemented. The \u201cenvironment\u201d chapters include the goals that were arrived at through the input received at all those meetings and surveys, as well as input from the town\u2019s boards and commissions. The chapter on Built Environment, for example, discusses how to: \u00a0Strengthen Wilton Center as the economic, residential, recreational and cultural hub of the community. \u00a0Improve the economic viability of Cannondale. \u00a0Bring mixed-use, transit- and pedestrian-oriented development to Georgetown. \u00a0Enhance the transportation network. \u00a0Improve and maintain town-owned facilities. \u00a0Maintain a safe and efficient public utility services and infrastructure. Who should go to this public hearing? Anyone who down the road might ask, \u201chow is this happening\u201d or \u201cwhy is this being done\u201d in town will have a clearer view of the future vision. The draft plan and complete results of all surveys may be seen online at wilton2029.com. Comments may also be submitted through the website, but only until the hearing on July 18. The Planning and Zoning Commission is being assisted in developing the plan by Milone and MacBroom, a planning and engineering firm based in Cheshire.