WOODBURY — The Planning Commission, meeting Wednesday, September 4, discussed a referral and the Plan of Conservation and Development.

The board received a referral from the Zoning Commission regarding Thomas Amatruda’s request for a special permit to change 45 Main St. North, from a one-family dwelling to accommodate two or more families.

Kathryn Sherer, chairman of the Planning Commission, said she believed the house was already in use as a two-family dwelling, noting the Amatrudas bought the house under the impression that the house was already permitted for multiple families. She said she thinks the family recently found that it was not permitted and are applying for one now.

Ms. Sherer said the Amatrudas are not planning any changes to the exterior or interior.

The board approved the dwelling change to be in keeping with the POCD.

Fransisco Gomes from Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. met with the commission to discuss the rough draft of the new POCD.

This meeting was intended to produce an almost final draft to present to the Board of Finance and Board of Selectmen at a Special Joint Meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. today, Wednesday, September 11, in the Senior Community Center.

Mr. Gomes started the discussion by pointing out “this is where the rubber meets the road, right here.”

He said he wanted to make sure he and the board are on the same page when it came to the meat of the plan, the recommendations and action items.

Members said they were pleased with the vision statement of the POCD, which reads, “Woodbury is, and will continue to be, a vibrant community that celebrates and protects its historic landscape and character.”

Commissioners reviewed the POCD and made detailed suggestions and edits to the wording, formatting and structure of the plan.

The plan focuses on six goals for the town of Woodbury.

The first goal is to protect and foster stewardship of the town’s environmental resources through five strategies.

The second goal is to protect, promote, improve and expand the town’s cultural and educational resources through five strategies.

A third goal aims to proactively manage, maintain and expand infrastructure to meet the community’s needs while preserving rural character through seven strategies.

A fourth goal seeks to provide and support high quality municipal and regional facilities and services through five strategies.

The fifth goal is to ensure an appropriate a mix of housing to meet current and future needs through four strategies.

The last goal is to build a diverse economy around small-scale, independently owned enterprises through seven strategies.

Each strategy has multiple action items that focus around a leading organization, partner organizations and a time frame to complete that goal.

While multiple elements of the plan are valuable, the commission spent a great deal of time focusing on action items that they felt were crucial to the immediate implementation for Woodbury.

After the edits and suggestions were discussed, Mr. Gomes asked for any recommendations on how to present the new POCD to the Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance.

The commission agreed that Mr. Gomes should present the applicability of the plan and show how the new plan uses action-oriented language to urge the town to take action to protect and promote the town’s wellness.

Commissioners agreed the old plan is not a good indicator of what the town’s boards are looking for and should not be compared to the new plan.

Mr. Gomes presented a schedule for the POCD’s adoption.

By Sunday, November 3, the commission must submit a draft copy to the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Finance and the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments.

No later than 65 days after submission, the commission must post the POCD to the town’s website and file a copy in the town clerk’s office.

During that time, town boards can provide comments and endorse or reject the plan.

The NVCOG is expected to provide advice and comments prior to or at the public hearing, set for Tuesday, January 7.

Residents will vote on the POCD following the close of the public hearing.

The public hearing is meant for town residents’ to provide their thoughts on the plan before the final draft is adopted.

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