HVG volunteers have now begun to work with the town on implementing the top priority project to come out of the October 16th Community Action Forum: a comprehensive master plan for Higganum Village. First Selectman, Paul DeStefano, spoke in favor of this project at the Action Forum and, since then, Haddam Town Planner, Liz Glidden, and Planning and Zoning Commission Chair, Walt Zilahy, have voiced their support. This first project will help to shape other action projects.
Liz Glidden and HVG’s Liz Bazazi have been researching methods that will assure the community has a voice in the design process. Of particular interest is the Charrette, a multi-day, intensive public design process led by a team of professionals, typically including a planner, architect, landscape architect, traffic engineer, and Photoshop pro. The process would build on the Community Vision Statements and the public would have a continual opportunity for feedback as the design is developed. The end result would be a feasible visual plan that the community supports. This would serve as the basis for regulation updates that would make it easy for developers to implement the plan. At the June 2012 HVG meeting, Simsbury Town Planner, Hiram Peck, spoke of the success that has followed their design Charrette (View the video here).
A number of grants—large and small—would likely be combined to fund a Comprehensive Master Plan. Ms. Glidden and Ms. Bazazi are working to compile a list of potential funding sources.
HVG’s Spring 2013 meeting will feature a short film on involving community in the planning process followed by a talk by David Fink of the Partnership for Strong Communities. The public is encouraged to attend this presentation which will be held at the Higganum Grange at 7:00pm on Tuesday March 19th. More details will be provided in the march Bulletin.