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The Planning Department and the Town Planning and Zoning Commission is in the process of updating the Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD).

The POCD outlines visions, goals, and strategies to guide conservation and development in Windsor over the next ten years and beyond. Topics include residential development, historic resources, economic development, transportation, natural resources, open space, agricultural resources, community facilities, enhancing the villages, utilities, and the Day Hill Corporate Area.

Several draft chapters are available for your review on the Planning Department website.

We want your input! How can we continue to make Windsor a desirable community to live, work, and play?

Small2_industrialvsagri

Would it be appropriate to allow more intense industrial development in the industrial zone if the property owner agreed to purchase open space in an agricultural or residential zone in exchange?

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8 Responses

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Carol Powers over 2 years ago

"More intense"---does that mean the area would look like the industrial ghetto on Airport Road? If so, no. But yes, companies and housing complex developers should buy and cede to the town open space.

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Laura Cipriano over 2 years ago

Does more intense mean environmental and/or health hazards?

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Paul Cipriano over 2 years ago

Intense industrial? if it is zoned that way then yes as long as they don't pollute and obey environmental laws We need business but not if it means bending the rules for polluters like GE or BP etc.

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Dave Mourad over 2 years ago

Yes, it's important to foster industrial opportunities and keep a holistic balance that could substantially improve other sections of town. As long as industrial output does not pose harm to the environment or adjacent neighborhoods, then yes it should be allowed given the exchange.

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Janette Coffin over 2 years ago

I don't think that there should be a requirement that they "purchase open space in an agricultural or residential zone in exchange". That's asking them to spend more money (to purchase & maintain) property that has nothing to do with their business. And won't that also tie up property that then won't be available for its zoned intent? (If X metals finishing company has to buy zoned ag land to start their business in the Industrial zone, what are they going to do with the ag land? They're not farmers!)

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Carolyn Hoffman over 2 years ago

This question is too vague. I'm not clear on what "more intense" means. Equally unclear is what is meant by "purchase open space." Would open space be preserved? Developed?

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Abby St Peter, Assistant Town Planner over 2 years ago

The Zoning Regulations contain parameters that determine the amount of development permitted on a site. For example, the Zoning Regulations state no more than 50% of a site can be covered by impervious surfaces (this includes roofs, parking lots, driveways, etc.). So by "more intense" industrial development, we are asking if it would be appropriate to increase the allowable area that may be developed on an industrial site (for example, allow up to 70% impervious coverage) if the developer agrees to purchase open space elsewhere in Windsor. This would allow a developer to construct a larger building, additional parking, etc. on a site in exchange for purchasing open space that would be preserved and not developed. Please let me know if that clarifies the question or if additional information is needed. Thank you all for your valuable input!

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Eric Barz, Town Planner admin over 2 years ago

Thank you all for your input. I see that Abby already responded after I wrote my response below but I responded anyway in the hope of providing further clarification.

I'll clarify the issue and let you each respond in-turn. In hindsight, we agree that the word "intensify" is vague. What we specifically meant, without an elaborate explanation, is limited to an increase in what we call impervious coverage.

Impervious coverage is the area of a lot covered by buildings and pavement that is impervious to the infiltration of rainfall, which is normally capped at 50% of a site. We currently have a program that allows the transfer of impervious coverage from one industrially zoned property to another industrially zoned property, with the "donor parcel" giving up its impervious coverage to a "receiving parcel(s)", and once stripped of its impervious coverage, which is equivalent to its development potential, the donor parcel can no longer be used for industrial development and is donated to the Town as open space. We also have a similar program called transfer of residential density that accomplishes the same goal of moving development potential to appropriate locations and preserving open space in the agricultural and residential zones.

What we are asking you to consider is creating a hybrid of these two programs: the removal of development potential in agricultural and residential zones and somehow converting it into impervious coverage in the industrial zone. The benefit of preserving open space in the agricultural and residential zones, where it can benefit adjacent residents and neighborhoods the most is obvious, as opposed to being located remotely in the Industrial Zone. The resulting increase in impervious coverage from 50% to roughly 67% in the Industrial Zone is not likely to be noticeable to an untrained eye, much like a house on a 20,000 square foot lot in the residential A Zone is imperceptible from that of a 27.500 square foot lot in the AA Zone. The trick is in creating an equitable system that levels the playing field between the diverse property values of the agricultural, residential and industrial zones so that industrial developers cannot simply buy cheaper land in another zone to avoid buying more costly industrial land.

That's it. We are not talking more intense, heavy industries; relaxation of environmental standards (the net impervious coverage remains the same or better); or any other intensification.

Sorry for the vagueness and we look forward to your thoughts.

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