STEWART: City's new Plan of Conservation and Development maps out bright future for all of New Britain

Published on Tuesday, 1 February 2022 21:04
Written by ERIN STEWART

New Britain Mayor

You have heard me talk time and time again about the development projects happening throughout New Britain and with a simple look around you can physically see the block-by-block transformation occurring in almost every corner of our city.  

None of this would be possible without a vision and a finely tuned plan to help execute that vision. I have been intimately involved in reimagining our city utilizing many different plans and tools since becoming mayor. I am thrilled to now have one document to refer to when working to improve our quality of life and grow our city’s Grand List! I cannot stress enough the importance of using our POCD (Plan of Conservation and Development] actively. It should not sit on a shelf and collect dust, it must be actively managed.  

State law requires each town to update their POCD plan every 10 years, and we did not take that responsibility lightly. We just recently completed countless hours of work that were put in over the past few months to update our Plan of  Conservation and Development into the document that we will use moving  forward to keep the city on a path toward prosperity for the next decade.  

Resident participation was a crucial part of the process we went through to update our POCD. This plan was developed in part by an intensive public input process. This process included a public survey as well as additional input from City Hall staff, members from the city’s volunteer boards and commissions, and elected officials.  

This plan would be close to meaningless without a group of dedicated individuals overseeing its implementation. A unique part of this new POCD is the fact that it combines the city’s SMART City Committee, the Transit Oriented Development Committee & the Complete Streets Master Plan, extending it to areas beyond downtown. As you know I am always looking for ways to make city operations more efficient and while these groups were doing incredible work individually, they can make an even greater impact on the future of our city together as the new Mayor’s Strategic Plan Committee. The individuals on this committee will ensure the vision for New Britain’s bright future is carried out as planned.  

The POCD has a number of features that make it unique. It is based around five “planning themes” that lay out the city’s vision for the future. These themes are Live, Grow, Play, Connect, and Sustain. Each theme is linked to different physical areas, neighborhoods, or features of the city including downtown development, infrastructure, parks, schools, businesses, and high density or low density residential areas. I am particularly proud of the work identified in the “Sustain” category. As a Sustainable CT Silver Certified community, we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and must plan for our future focusing on renewables and a firm commitment to expand our water system.  

While the city’s Plan of Conservation and Development is a living document that may change slightly over time, it will serve as the foundation for all development decisions the city makes over the next ten years. Anyone who is interested to check out the plan in its entirety is encouraged check it out for themselves under the Planning & Development tab at newbritainct.gov.

Erin Stewart is the mayor of New Britain



Posted in New Britain Herald, Columns, New Britain on Tuesday, 1 February 2022 21:04. Updated: Tuesday, 1 February 2022 21:07.