Plans of Conservation and Development (POCD) are written at the local, regional and state level. The three different government levels are written under different statutory authorities and, not surprisingly therefore, do not always line up very well or address land use issues in a consistent or logical way.
At the local level, while legally only advisory to local boards and commissions, POCDs can play a significant role in how developments are designed, located and approved. The state POCD is mandatory on certain state agency decisions that affect development proposals. This page addresses some of the reforms or policies surrounding POCDs worked on by the HBRACT.
In 2013, the state legislature adopted Sen. Joint Resolution No. 58, a resolution adopting the 2013-2018 State Plan of Conservation & Development (POCD). This S.J.R. specifically references an endorsement cover letter attached to the State POCD that restricts state agencies from making funding and permit decisions that rely solely on the locational guide map that is in the POCD. In the past, decisions based solely on the map by some state agencies, particularly the Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection, have stopped economic and housing development projects for no legitimate reason. The HBRA CT strongly supported this change, which became effective October 1, 2013.
The HBRACT commented on the draft 2013-2018 State POCD - see Joint Comment on the draft State POCD filed by the HBRA of CT and CT Housing Coalition on Oct. 4, 2012. Excerpt from HBRACT's comment: "while ... the articulation of statewide priorities and principles for infrastructure and land use planning, and the embrace of intelligent growth, are all commendable efforts and objectives, the Locational Guide Map has become an inaccurate, misused, and misunderstood part of the planning process. ... Scrap the Map!" S.J.R. 58 was a compromise result - while the map is not scrapped, its importance in making consistency decisions is lessened.
See OPM's Response to all comments (12-17-12).
(2009) The legislature's Continuing Committee on the State Plan of Conservation & Development, a special committee of 10 legislators, held a field information hearing on Nov. 5, 2009, at The Willows, a new housing development in Wallingford. Testifying at the hearing were HBRACT's CEO Bill Ethier, along with other representatives of the industry with first-hand experience on how the state POCD is misused by state agencies to stop or delay housing and economic development in CT. Other members and public at large also testified. See HBRACT's testimony.
Consistency Between Zoning Regulations and Land Use Plans: Why Requiring Consistency Between Land Use Regulations and Plans of Conservation and Development is NOT a Good Idea