Chances are most residents have seen the signs for a meeting on “Canton’s Future” set for Monday, Sept 26.
Simply put, a local committee charged with updating an important town planning document wants to hear a cross section of residents share their vision for the town.
The 7 p.m. meeting at town hall is designed to be a “stimulating, interactive, hands-on workshop” with free child care and refreshments.
The important thing is to get input from many different residents, town planner Neil Pade said.
“To the everyday person – what do you want the town to be 10 years from now?” Pade said. “Most people do not come out and tells us what they think is important until they see bulldozers in the ground. By then, they are reacting to something that has already been decided. This workshop is an opportunity for the community to provide input early on in the planning process, before there is something to react to.”
Specifically, the workshop is part of a Plan of Conservation and Development update process. The update committee will be on hand but the meeting will be facilitated by a consultant and designed to allow residents to provide input.
The committee is working on updating the document, which by Connecticut General Statutes must be updated every 10 years — in this case by September 2013. A Plan of Conservation and Development, often called POCD, is a document designed to provide elected officials and staff a roadmap when making decisions about development, economic initiatives, conservation and more.
And while residents may not share a uniform vision for the town, the committee wants to hear from as many people as possible and get some direction.
“Most people have a good understanding on what the town was, but there is no clear vision on what it will one day be,” Pade said. “To address this, we are asking people to come out on Monday and have an interactive dialogue to start the process of developing that vision.”
Pade said residents can share thoughts such as:
- What is it about the town that made you choose to live here?
- What about the town do you not like?
- Is traffic on certain roads unbearable?
- What features about the town are so important that they should be preserved forever?
- Where do you think the town should add new developments?
- What types of new development would you like to see?
- Are there any places in town that it would upset you greatly if one day you drove by and suddenly saw one of them being cleared for construction?
- What does the town need to do better?
- Where is the tax base going to come from over the next 10 years to support our services?
- Do we need: More athletic fields? More services? Lower taxes? Additional schools? More Parks? Less development? More development? Etc.
In promoting the meeting, POCD update committee member Susan Carr, also a member of Canton Advocates for Responsible Expansion wrote the following in an email:
“The workshop on the 26th will be a different kind of public meeting – very interactive and hands-on – and the POCD Update Committee is encouraging everyone to attend and contribute their good thinking and perspective as part of this new process. The success of this effort depends on many people – from all areas of town, no matter what your previous involvement in town affairs has been – coming out and lending your voice and good ideas and personal perspective. “
The workshop will take place Monday, Sept 26, at 7 p.m. at Canton Town Hall, 4 Market St., Collinsville.