We began by reviewing our interest in MALLS or how to nurture centrality in December 12, 2017

2010 OFFICIAL TOWN PLAN:  OUR VERSION HERE;  2020 ABOUT TOWN PLAN OF C&D READY THIS SUMMER IN THE FOLLOWING CHAPTERS:

CONTENTS: 
  1. Beginning
  2. Fact gathering
  3. Scenarios
  4. Implementation





Click here to compare our approach to 2010.

Beginning:  Our Plan will be using green type on this page.
As in the graphic above left...we are ready!!!  We got the end date at Speak Up  Vrrrrmmm, vrrrrmmmm!!!  New Town Attorney.
NOTE:  Thanks to our following the minutes of P&Z, we know they are ready to start those engines, we see that they are in the market for a consultant!


Review 2010 Plan of C&D.  Set new 2020 Goals (or do we need to?), set new Objectives, develop Strategies, create "out of the box" Programs - the old C.D.A.P. approach.  That stands for "Community Development Action Plan"
New Town Attorney (above) checking out inconsistencies with other parts of Town Code.
WHERE ARE THE GOALS?  WHERE IN THE 2010 PLAN ARE THEY?  Pardon my raised eyebrow, but did I miss something?

GOALS BY ANY OTHER NAME
Review of goals were described in the FORUM article (they assigned a reporter to P&Z then).  This article noted that Weston life revolved around the schools.  Another suggestion of a focus was related to centrality including necessary infrastructure.  Active recreation was also cited as a goal. 

But for the life of me, I can't find this expressed in the Plan itself!  What were the Goals?  Shouldn't they be prominently stated up front?  This is the closest thing I could find:
  
    "...Weston is a unique community with extraordinary resources, but it also faces significant challenges. While the Plan is not a legally binding document, it is the Committee’s (Commission's?) hope that the Plan inspires ideas, provokes discussions and helps guide Weston’s development and conservation efforts in a manner that preserves and protects the things that make Weston a unique and remarkable place to live. It is also our hope that the Plan will assist Weston to meet its challenges, creatively and decisively."   From Appendix #1, pp35-36, summary of survey results.

Apparently, P&Z considered, much as is being proposed now, that only a sample of the people of Weston be asked some questions (pp35-36 of the Appendix #1) to give them their ideas on goals.   We propose here in December 2017 doing a CENSUS OF WESTON households - every last one of us!!!  Doing a sample is by definition not unbiased - and Weston is small enough to be able to reach everyone with ease.



We are in the process of interpreting it now...and it is the tax assessor who has it!!!
Primary *and secondary**source material;  update map of town with roads and property lines.   Our Town Plan 2020 research page.

EXISTING LAND USE:  WESTON "DOWNTOWN" - (R) W.H.S. DOUBLED IN SIZE, PARKS & FIELDS BUILT

After obtaining a base map with roads and lot lines on it., from a consultant, perhaps, bring on the Prismacolor pencils - and the yellow tracing paper (21st century incarnation)!!!   Since we brought up "21st Century" enabling of land use... planners:  If you had to, do you think if you first have a map with lot lines on it, you could interpolated the most recent aerial photos of town figuring out which were vacant?   And then see if Google has street views of the busy part (s) of town?   we guess that in the case of Weston, that would be a "NO" on Google street view.   The absence of which isn't exactly critical to our efforts.  
We expect to enlarge upon the "residential" definition if the information is available and reliable regarding location of legal apartments, home-offices with and without Special Permit designation.
 
                  
 

And in the matter of a map - GIS has it for us right off the Town of Weston website!!!  Magnified ten times as shown above (est. 1" = 100').


So what is different from the unofficial picture on the left?  In 2017, only 2 of the large open properties are vacant
Check out northern part of town for remaining large empty parcels one of which above has been recently purchase by ALT.  Let's not forget what is underwater!  Or LACHAT TOWN FARM!!!





     
CAMPUS OF THE FUTURE?  UTILIZE EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE, REUSE FACILITIES, IN AN ENERGY IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT?

       
ANSWER:   None of the above.  Inaccurate, according to C.E.R.C., decrease based upon CT assumptions as a whole.  Although massive increases unlikely (JMO).

Speaking of "threats"
What are the points of inflection on the way to our goals?  Goals, which as you may have noticed, are my own in this "version" of the Town Plan update. 


Implementation exercises: 
A planner's version of an algorithm - what if...then
Once goals, objectives determined, develop an action plan to achieve them.


Scenarios: 
High, medium and low-build concepts to be developed. 

And not to imply this is the last consideration, but where does public input fit in?  Should there be a separate plan developed for public input?  One first step...

Everyone in town should be involved in implementation (i.e. recent Board of Selectman "objective" for house-numbering I.D. for best Fire Department/EMS response).  And if you have trouble keeping track of Boards and Commissions, here is the LWV of Weston's "Know Your Town Directory" online:  http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/KnowYourTownDirectory-2018rev.pdf







"SEEK AND YOU WILL FIND DEPARTMENT" and if you can't find what you are looking for, just ask About Weston here
Why we named this website "ABOUT WESTON."   It contains all the work we've done over the years...as simplified for the web.  We are committed to academically pure forms of research, FWIW.

To begin with, we wanted to call it "About Town" the same as our weekly column in the Weston FORUM.  But it should be no surprise to anyone that that original idea was not original.  "About Town" URL was taken back in 1998 when we began this online activity.  Who ever knows precisely who is watching you online?  We know that lately we seem to be a source for activity on our Strategic Planning page as well as the Selectmen 2017-2019 page.  There are two other pages on this website specifically devoted to planning in Weston - one is our reportage on Planning & Zoning Commission matters and the other, "MALL," which is a newer one that attempts to discuss major issues confronting our town and external forces involved.  Do we fit the description of a "New Town" or some other urban design approach to making Weston a home for "centrality?"  And now this page, "2020."





"WHAT IF...THEN?" OR THINKING LIKE A COMPUTER ALGORITHM
Before you get started with the 2020 Plan, however, there are a few questions you might be interested in considering:

If we are talking Town Plan of Conservation & Development and a consultant, please check this report.  We would advise P&Z or the Board of Selectmen/Board of Education to send out a simple survey to every household in town on different colored paper/if online different font, asking them questions such as:  "In order to help our Planning & Zoning Commission in the preparation of the 2020 Plan of Conservation and Development, please answer the following questions"...
  1. Are there children in your household, (Y-N)
  2. How long have you lived in Weston (total years), (0-5, under 10, under 20, more than 20).
  3. Are your property taxes too high? (Y-N)
  4. What you like best about Weston, in order (peace and quiet, schools, location, civility, other).

If history is any assurance, there will be an overwhelming response.   And 2020 implies that this planning toll might provide...vision?

ABOUT TOWN Town planning experience doing research goes back to the days before computers.  Primary data is where you find it. 
Working with primary data from official records of licensed junkyards, we developed techniques to analyze it.  Our topic was the secondary materials industry in NYC and impact on neighborhoods (a small section of the NYC Plan of C&D). 

WESTON CENSUS OF CHILDREN
In the Town of Weston, population 10,000+, not only can you reach every household (@3400) but assessor's records in the public domain and other sources can provide answers to corroborate actual responses.  It was About Town's pleasure to work on this project.  Three times the Town sent out such a "Census" before putting the $79 million proposition to the voters - the last undertaken by the IT department at Town Hall.  The first two were directed by the Board of Selectmen and assisted by the P.T.O.'s.

DOWNTOWN PEDESTRIAN MALLS
Having gone through the rigors of developing an original topic of research and completing a PhD dissertation on it, it is clear that how you frame your questions and limit your topic will provide the best data for analysis.  Here is a link to a published article from it:  https://books.google.com/books?id=pggsCvRaXJcC&pg=PA229&lpg=PA229&dq=downtown+pedestrian+malls+wirtenberg&source=bl&ots=IwmMNH3HdV&sig=cis53qsJ7cdey11OQbz0J2uJtpQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=6EWXVbnGLcP2-AGT54GgCQ&ved=0CDEQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=downtown%20pedestrian%20malls%20wirtenberg&f=false

NON-CONFORMITY IN THE C.G.S.


SOURCES:  Which are "primary" and which are "secondary?"  We are pretty strict - although some might want to consider U.S. Census "primary" we are more inclined to take it with a grain of salt.  As Mark Twin said...according to a source I find handy to use but don't believe all the time, and from my own statistical research training teachings, statistics don't lie...but misusing them is a favorite sport of those who would care to.


OTHER INFORMATION FOUND ON THE "ABOUT WESTON" WEBSITE (BESIDES JUST TYPING IN A WORD OR TITLE IN THE SEARCH BOX ON THE INDEX PAGE):

A map town containing lot lines and structures:  http://weston.mapxpress.net/ags_map/

U.S. Census of Population

http://www.aboutweston.com/censusmap.html

U.S. Census of Housing
http://www.aboutweston.com/cenhouses.html

VILLAGE DISTRICTS CT STATUTES
https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_124.htm#sec_8-2j

Strategic Plan part one
http://www.aboutweston.com/CraftingaStrategicPlanForWeston%27sFuturePhaseI050715.pdf

Global Facilities Committee
http://www.aboutweston.com/GFC.html

State of Connecticut Municipal Fiscal Indicators
http://www.ct.gov/opm/cwp/view.asp?A=2984&Q=383170

UCONN MAP CENTER
http://magic.lib.uconn.edu/

TOWN OF WESTON MAP PORTAL
http://weston.mapxpress.net/portal.asp

LINK TO OTHER TOWN PLANS, UPDATES/PROCESSES
https://townofreddingct.org/about-redding/town-plan/
https://goodmorningwilton.com/special-report-the-411-on-getting-involved-in-the-pocd-process-now/
http://www.eastonct.gov/sites/eastonct/files/u446/easton_plan_of_conservation_and_development_2018-2028_revised_draft.pdf




We note that the bill HB5045 passed the House but with an amendment that rendered it pretty harmless.  It was not brought up in the Senate.
HOW THE LEGISLATURE HAS BEEN LEANING LATELY...ELSEWHERE ON THE TOWN PLAN OF C&D FRONT

THE GOVERNOR'S BILL: 
HB5045 - a step along the way to removing zoning power (CT STATUTES) from towns.  No more "sticks" with this amendment...extraction on the floor of the House.
(These comments come from About Town...what impact related to outside agencies and their potential influence on the next Town Plan update...should not be ignored or minimized).

-----------------------


DIRECT FROM C.G.A. P&D PUBLIC HEARING MARCH 16, 2018:





We note that this map was presented at P&D Public Hearing.  NOTE TO OUR P&Z ON PLAN UPDATE:  Weston is in the cross-hairs! 


What to do?  We should hire an environmental lawyer who will draft new zoning regs, rather than a planner, to assist with Plan rewrite.

Please be aware that this is the year that the hammer may very well drop on zoning as we have known it.  Or maybe next year, after the November elections - towns v. cities?

This does not mean anything by itself, because as the Commissioner stated, this bill will only require "checking the box" to get out from under, as the Commissioner of Housing said towns, especially in red, (as we heard it live on CT-N) should:

So what Weston has to do in the new Town Plan is revise its existing regulation in the following way: