MERIDEN — The city will soon be seeking public input on future development.
City Planner Robert Seale is beginning the one-year process of hiring a consultant and helping form a steering committee to draft revisions to the city’s Plan of Conservation and Development.
“We want the public engaged as much as possible,” Seale said. “That’s the whole point of it. What direction do they want to go? Does the zoning match up with our vision?”
State law requires municipalities to revisit their plans every 10 years.
A request for proposals to hire a consultant closes today. The consultant will schedule public hearings and set a timetable. Seale will filter the proposals for a selection committee to review and make a final selection.
Seale will also recommend that the Planning Commission take the lead on a steering committee tasked with drafting the plan, with some representation from members of the City Council’s Economic Development, Housing & Zoning Committee.
“They will look at some of the same things we looked at the last time,” Seale said. “What do they recommend for Hall Farm? Are there park lands we need to protect, do they want more commercial zones?”
Seale’s final day is Dec. 7, and he intends to have the steering committee set up to continue the process through the hiring of a new city planner.
“Bob has been an asset,” said Mayor Kevin Scarpati. “I do trust his recommendation and good judgment.”
Scarpati said he would like to see a diverse steering committee that reflects the city’s various cultures and interests.
“There is an importance to maintaining a diverse group of individuals,” Scarpati said. “I see value in that, and I’d like to think our staff would see as well. It should be representative of our community.”
Hearings will be scheduled in different locations throughout the city, looking at housing, parks, downtown, commercial areas encompassing the whole city, the east side, west side and South Meriden.
“We are trying to engage those people,” Seale said. “We want to go near the people so they are more likely to show up.”