Tuesday 28 July 2015

Woodstock Plan of Conservation & Development (POCD)                       

Sponsored by the Planning & Zoning Commission                                         

 The Woodstock Planning & Zoning Commission approved the Plan of Conservation and Development Update with some minor changes at the Special Meeting of March 12, 2015.

Woodstock's Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD)

  • What is the POCD?
  • Why does Woodstock need one?
  • How is it related to A Plan of Open Space and Conservation (APOSC)?            
  • How is the POCD created?
  • How can I get involved?
  • Where can I learn more (links)?

POCD Update

What is the Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD)?

The Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD), as it is called in Connecticut, is similar to what is called the 'Master Plan' or the 'Comprehensive Plan' in other states and prior to 1995, it was called the ‘Plan of Development’ in Connecticut.  The POCD is a visionary document created by the Planning Commission with the input of the community (residents, property owners, business owners, Town Boards and Commissions, etc.) that serves to guide future development of the Town.

The POCD has broader significance than Zoning within the Town and is not interchangeable with the Zoning or Zoning Regulations.  Instead, it serves as a guide for when amendments are proposed for the Subdivision or Zoning Regulations or for the Zoning Map.

The Connecticut General Statutes, Ch. 126 Municipal Planning Commissions, Section 8-23 details the requirements for how to create a POCD.  POCDs are required to be updated at a minimum of every ten years.

Download the PDF here.

Why does Woodstock need one?

There are at least two big reasons why Woodstock needs a POCD.

  1. To meet requirements of the Connecticut General Statutes (Sec. 8-23).  The penalty for not having a plan or for not updating the plan by the ten-year deadline includes that the Town “shall not be eligible for discretionary state funding unless such prohibition is expressly waived by the Secretary of OPM.”
  2. A POCD is an important tool for the Town to use when determining the desires of the community at large for how growth and development should occur.  The POCD is an advisory document that guides important decisions in the Town such as the desired density, which in general terms is about how many households are appropriate for a given part of Town.  The Town should determine what the appropriate density should be, based on such factors as soil type, water quality, and other important natural and cultural resources, etc.

If there are no clear goals and objectives guiding the development of the community, the future of the community may depend on factors out of the community’s control such as what the regional, state-wide or even larger-scale market demands.  Leaving the evolution of the Town to the whims of the market could lead to great difficulty in meeting the needs of the Town’s residents for the desired quality of life.

The new Woodstock Plan of Conservation & Development Update was completed and approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission on March 12, 2015 with an Effective Date of June 1, 2015.

How is it related to A Plan of Open Space and Conservation (APOSC)?

A Plan of Open Space and Conservation (APOSC) was prepared by the Woodstock Conservation Commission and last revised on December 3, 2003. The APOSC is an advisory document that is used by the Conservation Commission when reviewing proposed development applications that go before the Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC). The document is also a guide for the PZC when considering community planning projects regarding land use such as regulation amendments.

How is the POCD created?

The Planning Commission works together and may create advisory committees to aid in facilitating participation of the community in drafting the update to the POCD.  Some Planning Commissions hire consultants to aid them in this lengthy project, while others do the job with the assistance of their Town Planner.  It is often a joint venture with many volunteers.  There are many steps to writing the update, including information gathering and meetings where the public is invited to provide input on important aspects of the Plan such as how municipal developments occur, the general welfare and prosperity of the community, recommendations for the most desirable use of land throughout town, whether zone changes would be appropriate in addition to current traffic flow / road layout, etc. The input guides decision makers when they consider regulations and policy changes that will affect future Town growth.

The PZC or POCD Update Committee will also review how the Town population has changed since the last update.  They will evaluate how the needs of the community have changed and in what ways they may change in the future, specifically in the way that these needs relate to or affect land use.

The current and past economic development of the Town is one of many areas of concern especially in light of the challenging economic climate we are facing now and possibly in the coming years.  Another area of concern is the level of environmental or natural resource protection and how that is an important element in planning for a community that maintains a high quality of life for all current and future Woodstock residents.

The strategies used to manage the change in land uses and resource protection shapes the community character and can greatly affect the lives of residents and property owners long into the future.

How can I get involved?

Come to meetings and get involved!  We want your input.

Even though the Planning & Zoning Commission has completed the recent POCD Update, they still want input from the community on the planning and zoning of land use matters.  Please come to the meetings and get involved!  We want your input.

The Planning & Zoning Commission can update the POCD at any point but are required to do so at least once every ten years, thus you are welcome to come to meetings and share your ideas with PZC or to contact Delia Fey, the Town Planner.

Where can I learn more (links)?

POCD MAPS for your viewing:  Town of Woodstock Fire DistrictsWoodstock Roads, Woodstock Aquifer Potential, Woodstock Land Use, Woodstock Non-Land Use Districts, Woodstock Open Space 10/21/14, Woodstock Zoning Map-Lake Districts, Woodstock Historic District Composite Map, PA 490 Map, Zoning Map

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