The Town of Washington, Connecticut
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Depot Study, December 2005 ( 86 pages)
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The report of the Washington Depot Village Area Study, prepared by Wilbur Smith Associates and Robert Orr & Associates for the Washington Planning Commission, has been placed on this website to assure the widest possible distribution for public discussion. Please read it carefully. The Commission is concerned that the nature and purpose of this report may have been misunderstood by some. The Depot Study is intended to identify issues of concern to Washington residents and to suggest possible solutions. It is not a "master plan" and is not intended to promote the aggressive development of the Depot. It is a guide to help ensure that any future development within the study area will be in the best interest of the residents of Washington.
The Planning Commission would like to emphasize that this study was recommended in the 2003 Plan of Conservation and Development and was carried out with the help of townspeople as a conceptual exercise. It is designed to address some stated concerns about the Depot as it is today. Many of the actual comments from residents defining these problems are included in Appendix B. The study identifies measures, such as revising local regulations, among others, which may be taken to address these concerns. Having a plan available for guidance that might also help prevent incompatible development if it is proposed in the future is another prudent measure. The Commission considers any development incompatible if it does not respect the history and natural environment of the Town, does not promote pedestrian accessibility, and does not preserve the rural character, beauty, and charm of the Depot as we know it. The goal of this phase is to define both existing and potential problems and to offer ideas about how they might be addressed.
This phase of the study is ongoing. The Planning Commission is currently seeking input from the other Town boards and commissions. This input will help it to continue to gather information, come up with additional ideas, refine issues, and establish priorities for addressing some of the more immediate community concerns such as traffic, parking, and recreational opportunities.
The study process is slow. The timetable is indefinite. This is because the plan being drafted will serve us 10, 20, even 50 years or more in the future and must be carefully considered. As you read the document, please keep in mind that the Planning Commission does not favor a complete makeover of the Depot. Instead it sees what exists now as the basis from which any future growth must evolve. The Commission is not pushing development by any means. Rather it is being realistic by anticipating that change will eventually happen and is trying to have a plan in place to enable the Town to deal effectively with it when it comes. The plan is to build on what we have and to make any new development uniquely in keeping with the Depot we all love.
Please continue to contribute to and monitor our progress. The Planning Commission is striving for the widest possible community review, discussion, and involvement. The next major forum will be community informational meetings, which will be scheduled in the future. The Commission meets the first Tuesday of most months and the Depot Study will be on future agendas for months to come. Both minutes and agendas are routinely posted on the Town website. Comments from the public are always welcome. You may fax them to the Land Use Office at 868-2819, email them to the Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop any of us commissioners to discuss the study when you see us around Town. The work on the Depot Study has been open to all from the start and will continue to be so.
Thank you for your efforts to help the Planning Commission complete this phase of the Depot Study.
Addie Roberts, Chairman
Chris Charles, Vice Chairman
Bill Fairbairn, Alternate
Winston Fowlkes, Alternate