The 2018-2023 CT State Plan to Transform Connecticut

The State of Connecticut’s Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) and Smartgrowth Principles are transforming Connecticut cities.  Although municipalities are not forced to comply, those that seek to grow without consideration of the state’s goals are unlikely to see discretionary funding flow to their city.  Among other documents that illustrate this is the 2018-2023 State PoCD, which is still in draft form.

 Overview

2018-2023 Connecticut Conservation and Development Policies Plan 

Capture“Sections 16a-25 through 16a-30 of the Connecticut General Statutes establish a process by which the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) shall revise the State C&D Plan once every five years. Each 5-year revision to the State C&D Plan is prepared with consultation from regional councils of governments, municipalities, state agencies, and the public. In summer 2016, OPM began the State C&D Plan revision process for the 2018-2023 State C&D Plan, which must be submitted to the General Assembly by December 31, 2017. Check this web page periodically for information and updates concerning the 2018-2023 State C&D Plan revision.”

 
” Effective July 1, 2016, any municipality that does not adopt a POCD at least once every ten years shall be ineligible for discretionary state funding unless such prohibition is expressly waived by the OPM Secretary. The 10-year clock for discretionary state funding eligibility re-sets whenever the municipal POCD is prepared or amended and adopted in accordance with CGS Section 8-23.”
 
APPLICATION OF THE STATE C&D PLAN
Although Connecticut’s planning framework does not require municipal, regional and state plans to be consistent with one another, CGS Section 16a-31 requires state agencies to be consistent with the State C&D Plan whenever they undertake any of the following actions with state or federal funds:
(1) The acquisition of real property when the acquisition costs are in excess of two hundred thousand dollars;
(2) The development or improvement of real property when the development costs are in excess of two hundred thousand dollars;
(3) The acquisition of public transportation equipment or facilities when the acquisition costs are in excess of two hundred thousand dollars; and
(4) The authorization of each state grant, any application for which is not pending on July 1, 1991, for an amount in excess of two hundred thousand dollars, for the acquisition or development orimprovement of real property or for the acquisition of public transportation equipment or facilities.
 
CGS Section 16a-31 also requires OPM to:
 provide an advisory statement, upon request by another state agency, on the extent to which a proposed action is consistent with the State C&D Plan;
 review each Bond Commission agenda and issue an advisory statement on the extent to which the items on the agenda are consistent with the State C&D Plan; and
 review certain draft plans prepared by state agencies under state or federal law, and provide the submitting agency with an advisory report commenting on the extent to which the proposed plan conforms to the State C&D Plan.
When considering any grant application submitted in connection with a proposed development, rehabilitation or other construction project, a state agency shall consider whether such proposal complies with some or all of the principles of smart growth provided in Section 1 of Public Act 09-230*.”
 
The text of the draft State C&D Plan is presented in a condensed format that is built around six Growth Management Principles.
1) Redevelop and Revitalize Regional Centers and Areas with Existing or Currently Planned Physical Infrastructure;
 
Examples of Performance Indicators for Measuring Progress:
 Percentage of State capital investments in priority funding areas
 Number of new businesses registered in priority funding areas compared to total statewide new business registrations
 Percent increase in development in priority funding areas
 Number of businesses started or expanded in priority funding areas
 Number of brownfield sites/acres redeveloped
 Percent of state highways and bridges in fair or better condition
 Number of historic facilities preserved in priority funding areas
 Number of registered farmers markets in priority funding areas
 
 
2) Expand Housing Opportunities and Design Choices to Accommodate a Variety of Household Types and Needs;
 
Examples of Performance Indicators for Measuring Progress:
 Number of new affordable housing units created
 Number of towns with 10% of their housing stock designated affordable
 Number of towns with approved Incentive Housing Zone overlays
 Percentage of population in high density areas (1,000 per sq mi) Percentage of renters paying more than 30% of income on rent
 
3) Concentrate Development Around Transportation Nodes and Along Major Transportation Corridors to Support the Viability of Transportation Options;

Examples of Performance Indicators for Measuring Progress:

 Number of passengers using public transportation
 Number of locally-designated transitoriented development zones
 Percent of Surface Transportation Program funds used for bicycle/pedestrian access
 Percent of state capital investments made within ½ mile of a rail station or a bus rapid transit (BRT) station
 Number of housing units/amount of commercial building space built or renovated within ½ mile of a rail station or a bus rapid transit (BRT) station Number of Bradley International Airport passengers Volume of goods transported by mode within and through Connecticut
 Average per rider subsidy by mode/service
 
4) Conserve and Restore the Natural Environment, Cultural and Historical Resources, and Traditional Rural Lands;
 
Examples of Performance Indicators for Measuring Progress:
 Acreage of preserved/protected open space
 Acreage of land being farmed in Connecticut
 Acreage of preserved farmland
 Percentage of Connecticut consumer dollars spent on locally produced farm products
 Total value of Connecticut’s agricultural industry
 Acres of Inland Wetlands affected by activities subject to local or state permits
 Tons of Nitrogen delivered to Long Island Sound from Connecticut
 Oxygen depletion in Long Island Sound
 Miles of stream supporting wild brook trout
 Number of lakes meeting water quality assessment goals in Connecticut’s Integrated Water Quality Report
 
5) Protect and Ensure the Integrity of Environmental Assets Critical to Public Health and Safety; and
 
Examples of Performance Indicators for Measuring Progress:
 Percent of public water systems meeting drinking water quality standards
 Number of “Good Air Days”
 Number of beach closings
 Pollution Index Values (average of all measured air pollutants)
 Amount of municipal solid waste sent to landfills
 Number of school systems, restaurants and state institutions contracting with Connecticut farms
 
6) Promote Integrated Planning Across all Levels of Government to Address Issues on a Statewide, Regional and Local Basis.
 
Examples of Performance Indicators for Measuring Progress:
 Number of municipalities and COGs in compliance with the 10-year requirement for updating their plans of conservation and development;
 Number of municipalities that have adopted the state parcel standard;
 Number of applications received by OPM for interim changes to the State C&D Plan;
 Number of new cooperative ventures (inter-municipal and regional) for sharing regional services or equipment; and
 Estimated annual cost savings from cooperative ventures begun under the Regional Performance Incentive Program and the Inter-town Capital Equipment Sharing Program.”
 
Not only do the Growth Management Principles serve as the chapters of the draft State C&D Plan, but municipalities and COGs must also note any inconsistencies with these principles when they update their respective plans of conservation and development (CGS Sections 8-23 and 8-35a).
Priority Funding Areas are classified by Census Blocks that include:
Designation as an Urban Area or Urban Cluster in the 2010 Census Boundaries that intersect a ½ mile buffer surrounding existing or planned mass-transit stations Existing or planned sewer service from an adopted Wastewater Facility Plan Existing or planned water service from an adopted Public Drinking Water Supply Plan Local bus service provided 7 days a week.”
 
Related Information:
““Principles of Smart Growth” as defined by Public Act 09-230*
“Principles of smart growth” means standards and objectives that support and encourage smart growth when used to guide actions and decisions, including, but not limited to, standards and criteria for:
(A) integrated planning or investment that coordinates tax, transportation, housing, environmental and economic development policies at the state, regional and local level,
(B) the reduction of reliance on the property tax by municipalities by creating efficiencies and coordination of services on the regional level while reducing interlocal competition for grand list growth,
(C) the redevelopment of existing infrastructure and resources, including, but not limited to brownfields and historic places,
(D) transportation choices that provide alternatives to automobiles, including rail, public transit, bikeways and walking, while reducing energy consumption,
(E) the development or preservation of housing affordable to households of varying income in locations proximate to transportation or employment centers or locations compatible with smart growth,
(F) concentrated, mixed-use, mixed income development proximate to transit nodes and civic, employment or cultural centers, and
(G) the conservation and protection of natural resources by (i) preserving open space, water resources, farmland, environmentally sensitive areas and historic properties, and (ii) furthering energy efficiency
 Definitions:
Regional Center – Municipalities identified as such on the 2013-2018 State C&D Plan’s Locational Guide Map

Transit-Oriented Development – “the development of residential, commercial and employment centers within one-half mile or walking distance of public transportation facilities, including rail and bus rapid transit and services, that meet transit supportive standards for land uses, built environment densities and walkable environments, in order to facilitate and encourage the use of those services” (CGS Sec. 13b-79o)”
 
 
Related Plans Prepared by State Agencies under State or Federal Law:
 
Economic Strategic Plan (DECD)
 
Comprehensive Energy Strategy for Connecticut (DEEP)
 
State Long-Range Housing Plan (DECD)
 
Annual Action Plan for Housing and Community Development
(DECD)
 
Strategic Long-Range Transportation Plan, 2009-2035
(DOT)
 
Connecticut Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian
Transportation Plan (DOT)
 
Connecticut State Rail Plan (DOT)
 
Connecticut Statewide Airport System Plan (DOT)
 
State Historic Preservation Plan (DECD)
 
The Green Plan: Guiding Land Acquisition and Protection in Connecticut (DEEP)
 
Connecticut Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (DEEP)
 
Connecticut Forest Resource Assessment and Strategy
(DEEP)
 
Connecticut Wildlife Action Plan (DEEP)
 
Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (DEEP)
 
Long Island Sound Blue Plan (DEEP)
 
Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy (DEEP)
 
Connecticut Drought Preparedness and Response Plan (WPC)
 
Connecticut Climate Change Preparedness Plan (DEEP)
 
State Natural Disaster Plan (DESPP)
 
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Intended Use Plan (Section 1452(b) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (DPH)
 
State Water Plan (WPC)
 
State Facility Plan

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