Presentation Tonight on Regional Plan for Lower Connecticut River Valley

ESSEX — The Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments, commonly known as RiverCOG, one of nine regional planning organizations across the state, is beginning the process of creating the organization’s first Regional Plan of Conservation and Development. The council will provide an introductory presentation on the project Monday night at 7 p.m. via zoom and the meeting will be open to the public.  “What we’re looking for is to get the public’s input. On Monday night, we want to introduce them to the process of how this works… when I say the public, I mean the public at large,

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Town of Madison Approves Demolition of 1729 General William W. Harts House

MADISON — After standing nearly 300 years at a bend in the Boston Post Road that now roughly marks the place where rural sprawl draws together into the town of Madison, what locals call the “General’s Residence” is slated to be demolished and rebuilt as a “replica” containing two condominium units that will be part of a nine-unit cluster housing development.  An 8-1 vote on May 21 by the Town of Madison Planning and Zoning Commission to approve the demolition of the structure comes after years of deterioration, recent courtships from several developers, and expressions of regret by commission members

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East Haddam Planning and Zoning Agrees to Draft Denial of Zoning Amendment

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EAST HADDAM — The Planning and Zoning Commission agreed Tuesday night to ask the town’s attorney to write a draft denial of a zoning amendment application that would have allowed the owners of the Banner Country Club Estates banquet hall to convert that empty building into an estimated 20 residential units. “I just feel if we’re doing an ordinance change, it should benefit the town in general, and I don’t see this benefiting the town,” said commission member Edmund J. Gubbins, Jr., during the commission’s Tuesday night meeting. “I see this benefiting one developer and that’s all.” In the application,

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East Lyme Residents Voice Concerns About Development and Environmental Protection

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EAST LYME — The many of the participants at a public forum on conservation and development voiced concerns that future business and residential development would negatively impact the quality of life in the town. About 45 people filled the room in Town Hall. “When I think of Niantic and Flanders Four Corners 10 years from now, I see massive traffic jams during the events that we all enjoy, and I see extremely congested driving on a daily basis,” said resident Ed Lilienthal. “It’s easy for anyone here to imagine this because we are beginning to see these conditions now.” Lilienthal

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Zoning Change Allowing Redevelopment of Older Resort Properties Raises Opposition in East Haddam

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EAST HADDAM — A large number of vocal town residents attended the Planning and Zoning Commission’s public hearing Tuesday on a proposed special exception to change the town’s density rules and allow a developer to convert an empty 28,000-square-foot banquet hall into an estimated 20 or 22 residential spaces. The banquet hall, which was built in the 1930s, is part of Banner Country Club Estates on Banner Road, and would qualify as adaptive reuse under the proposed amendment, according to Gary Hendren, an architect from Boston who represented the applicants, property owners Anthony and Frank Longhitano, of New Rochelle, New

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Towns to Complete Local and Regional Planning for Natural Disasters

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In 2000, Congress passed the Disaster Mitigation Act to break cycles of destruction and rebuilding caused by natural disasters, the law required local government to plan for possible damage and mitigation long before it actually happens. Hazard mitigation, senior project manager Scott Choquette of Dewberry Engineers told a gathering of Old Lyme commission heads and emergency services professionals at a Wednesday meeting in Town Hall, could include “any action that you take to reduce or mitigate the impacts of disasters over the long term.” That includes structural updates like elevating buildings near to the coastline, adding culverts, repairing bridges or

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Regional Planners Seek $850,000 to Map Muncipal Boundaries in Connecticut

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Officials from Connecticut’s Regional Councils of Government are seeking a state grant of $850,000 to create a statewide municipal boundary dataset that they say would help reduce costs for towns, inform emergency services, enable environmental and economic development studies, and open the door to more cost savings for maintaining mapping data. According Sam Gold, chair of the Connecticut Association of Councils of Government, the project is an effort to address discrepancies of as much as a quarter mile between digital maps used by neighboring towns to locate municipal boundaries “We’re in the 21st century, and we don’t know where the

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Charlestown’s Virginia Lee Offers Alternative on Shoreline Development

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CHARLESTOWN, RI — Open space. Dark skies. Limited development. Good schools. Low taxes. How has Charlestown, a small coastal town packed into the crowded Eastern seaboard, blazed its own decades-long path of holding to its environmental values while also staying financially stable and attracting families to live there? And is Charlestown’s model fiscally and environmentally sustainable?   “We’re the ‘model of yes to this.’ Yes to what the people who live here want: A rural, safe, kind community with good schools, dark skies. Safe to live in, quiet and private so that you can commute to all the hecticness but you

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Planning and Zoning Candidates Draw Sharp Lines in Old Lyme

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OLD LYME — In the last several weeks, three candidates for the Planning Commission and three for the Zoning Commission individually discussed their reasons for running and their goals for the town during phone interviews with CT Examiner.  Out of the eight total candidates across the two commissions, two Democrats and four Republicans responded to CT Examiner’s request for phone interviews and answered questions about the future development of the town.  Planning Commission — Ross and Klose Democratic candidate and incumbent alternate Alexander Klose, is competing with incumbent board member Steven Ross, a Republican, for a seat on the Town

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City Officials Tweak Regulations, Streamline Planning to Encourage Growth

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NEW LONDON — “Our commission is a joint commission and I’m always cognizant if I’ve got my planning hat on or my zoning hat on,” said Barry Levine, chair of New London’s Planning and Zoning Commission, on Friday. “Zoning is ‘how does it fit with the rules?’ Planning is ‘what do you want the rules to be?’” he explained. “In New London, we want the taxes to go down and we want affordable housing and the only way to do that is to increase the grand list and create more development that brings more cash into the coffers — and

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