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What Should Stratford Look Like in 20 Years?

Town of Stratford seeks public input on the future of the town.

[The following is press release from the town.]

What do residents of the town of Stratford want their town to look like in 20 years?

How can the town's quality of life be improved upon?

What makes Stratford a good place to make a home, raise a family, run a business?

These questions and others will be posed during a public workshop for the town's new Plan of Conservation and Development.

The session is scheduled for Wednesday, March 6 at 7 p.m. It will be held at the Baldwin Senior Center, 1000 West Broad St., Stratford.

The workshop will feature background information about the Plan of Conservation and Development, the planning process and time frame. The interactive portion of the program features individual input as well as group consensus building exercises.

The Plan of Conservation and Development guides growth and change in the town. The plan considers all facets of community life including:

  • population
  • growth
  • housing
  • transportation
  • waterways
  • parks
  • open space
  • the economy

The plan will establish actions that aimed at helping the town to achieve a vision of the preferred future crafted during the process.

"Public input is a central element of the plan because it lays the foundation for the vision of the future for Stratford," says Planning Commission Chair John Zbell. "The workshop on March 6 is just one element of a broad public input program that will take place throughout the plan process. It is an exciting opportunity to set the course for the future of the town and we encourage residents to get involved."

During the plan process there will be a community-wide survey and additional public forums to encourage input from residents, set priorities and raise awareness about the plan and its importance to the community. The project consultant, peter j. smith & company of Buffalo, NY, will also conduct focus groups, interviews and visioning sessions with town leaders.

The community last produced a Plan of Conservation and Development in 2003. The 2013 plan will be a comprehensive update and will include new guiding goals, objectives and policies.

The workshop is free and open to the public and the public is encouraged to attend and participate. For more information, contact town of Stratford Planning & Zoning Administrator Gary Lorentson at 203.385.4017.

Janice Lewis February 25, 2013 at 03:23 PM
I know this is off topic, but Stratford needs to preserve its "charm" and maybe get a little bit more. I remember going to Stockbridge MA in the fall a couple of years ago, and almost every home had one small pumpkin on the front stairs. While homeowners provided most of the pumpkins, some were provided to naked stairs by a community group. The whole effect just made me smile. It was charming. It showed pride in the community. Yes, there are major issues to consider, but some times it's the small stuff that can make a huge difference.
Helene E. Logan February 25, 2013 at 04:10 PM
What a great idea, I couldn't agree more! Stratford has to stop looking for big box stores to populate the area, and the mentality that the defense industry is always our salvation is shortsighted. Town Hall has to be more user-friendly towards small businesses and educate themselves on creative ways to help them succeed. We certainly have the capacity to 'amp up' the charm element in a number of instances-Boothe Memorial, Paradise Green, the 'downtown' section near the train station, our beaches. Not to mention Roosevelt Forest, the town green, Longbrook park...we have so many areas that, if well maintained, make the town appealing. If we can get Town Hall to understand that tax-breaks to another chain store or donut hut are not long term solutions, and that interesting and unique business development and nuturing will provide an opportunity for young, dynamic businesses to flourish, people will want to move here (provided, of course, that education remains a priority, too). Yes, it all takes money. But thinking creatively if FREE to all. And as Janice mentions, small stuff--small beginnings--can make a huge difference.
Mike February 25, 2013 at 04:22 PM
Will Stratford still be one town in twenty years? There are people who believe that the South End should split off from Stratford, and form their own town. Not that anyone in North Stratford will miss them, but it will make things harder for North Stratford. Without South Stratford paying taxes for improvements in North Stratford, the North Stratford taxpayers will have to pay for their own inprovements, and the taxes collected in South Stratford will go to repair things that haven't been attended to for decades in South Stratford.
Janice Lewis February 25, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Mike, I'd never thought of a split. Surely, north Stratford houses some services that, folks in the south use... like schools, grocery stores, and most of the commercial properties that generate tax revenue. Would children in the south end have to pay tuition to attend high school in town? Wow, you've really got me thinking.
Patricia Clark Sperling February 25, 2013 at 05:28 PM
It will look the same if we don't have a better bunch of politicians. Resident taxpayers still supporting the Town. There is so much that CAN happen if the political climate gets more honest. Unfortunately, most resident taxpayers turn a blind eye to everything that is wrong and choose not to get involved.
Baffled Resident February 25, 2013 at 06:55 PM
What should Stratford look like in 20 years? Hopefully, not an extension of Bridgeport. You can't help but notice the "encroachment" factor over the last 10 years or so. That needs to be stopped in its tracks. Like right now.
Chris Stevens February 26, 2013 at 02:47 AM
Hmmmm 20 years? The engine plant will still be empty, the theater will still be in shambles and the beaches will still be dirty......
Shirley B. Backus February 26, 2013 at 02:51 AM
I fear that Stratford will look a lot like New York City: foul air, dirty, and with fewer tree-lined country roads and little open space. Instead of increasing our population with more housing, we should be looking into tourist facilities. That will provide local jobs and bring in outside money to our restaurants, stores and businesses. More people looking for non-existant jobs will only add to the congestion on I-95 as more and more workers can only find jobs in Stamford and Norwalk.
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