Creating plans for action

Wallingford Plan of Conservation and Development

Location

Connecticut, USA

Listening to the community

The representative and highly engaged planning committee expressed significant concerns over Wallingford’s history of planning without implementation. With a relocated train station under construction just outside of the Town Centre, the community was also concerned with ensuring complementary development activity in both the Town Centre and the newly created TOD area. We had to address implementation throughout the planning process and assist the community in making headway on perennial issues regarding the Town Centre that have been discussed for decades.

An informed community

Our planning professionals provided data updates and analysis to inform the community on current trends and conditions in demographics, housing, land use, economic development, natural resources, and conservation. Special attention was paid to the Town Centre with an analysis of existing parking, land uses, businesses, zoning, and a separate Town Centre community survey.

An engaged community

We engaged the community through a variety of techniques including online community surveys, focus group sessions with invited stakeholders, soliciting feedback at the Town’s annual fall festival, interviews on public access television programming, and community workshops, including one devoted specifically to the Town Centre and potential redevelopment plans. Our team also worked extensively with the planning committee to explore the barriers to implementation of past planning efforts, current priorities, and mechanisms for implementing change.

The result

We facilitated planning committee working sessions to build consensus around a prioritised list of objectives and strategies, and to develop a specific and clear action agenda and mechanism for ensuring that the updated Plan would serve as guidance to the work of many boards, commissions and staff.
We prepared a final plan that was widely endorsed by the Town Council and Planning and Zoning Commission. A testament to the success of the plan is the Town’s immediate work on implementing new Town Centre parking regulations as recommended.