Wilton’s future is on paper and awaiting comment
The final draft of Wilton’s Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) is now complete. It may be viewed at wilton2029.com and comments may be posted at the site.
The POCD is a guidance document that will provide a long-term vision for the town. It will also help to guide decision making related to future growth, development, and conservation over the next 10 years.
The Planning and Zoning Commission held several workshops to edit the draft, which has been referred to the Board of Selectmen and the Western Connecticut Council of Governments. These agencies are provided a 65-day comment period during which further amendments may be requested.
Natural and Historical Environment
As part of the POCD, one of the goals was focusing on Wilton’s natural and historical settings. This included open space, trails, natural resources and habitats, energy and sustainability programs as well as the town’s rural, scenic and historical resources.
Additional goals included continuing to lead the state in energy conservation and resiliency, waste reduction, sustainability and public health.
Human and Economic Environment
The POCD also addressed Wilton as a place to live, do business, educate children and participate in local government. The topics of demographics, housing, general economic development, education facilities and town governance were addressed in this section.
This section also focused on enhancing the strength and diversity of the local economy and its connections to the region.
Another area the POCD also addressed was Wilton’s physical and design development. This section focused on the village centers, commercial corridor, transportation networks, infrastructure and town facilities.
Goals included pursuing context-sensitive economic development on Danbury Road and strengthening the economic viability of the Cannondale area while protecting its historical character. A focus on enhancing Wilton’s transportation network for all modes and users was also outlined.
The POCD also included some new items and goals. The Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) was a point of focus in the draft. A goal in the draft is for Wilton to continue to develop its section of the NRVT to provide residents a high-quality recreational amenity that connects them to the town’s natural beauty and, eventually, to the Norwalk shore and Danbury.
Several sections of the NRVT have been built in the last five years with additional segments in the planning stages. Three sections were described in the POCD. The “WilWalk” section, which is listed as a short-term priority, will run from Lambert Corner into Norwalk. Skunk Lane to Cannondale, listed as a mid-term priority, will extend the current northern end of the trail to Cannondale. Cannondale to Ridgefield is a longer-term priority due to rugged terrain and the need for easements over private property.
The POCD also outlined a trend toward multi-family housing and smaller housing units. An objective listed was to encourage smaller-scale, lower cost and/or multi-family housing, whether as transit-oriented, stand-alone, or mixed-use development to serve the community. This housing would be targeted in Wilton Center, Georgetown, train station areas, and Danbury Road south of Cannon Road.
Public comments will be accepted until July 12. After that, the commission will hold a public hearing, at which time further written and spoken comments may be made. The time and location of the hearing will be announced in the coming weeks.