Plan Stratford Workshop: Baldwin Center Workshop

1000 W Broad St, Stratford, CT 06615
Thursday, October 13th | 6 – 8 p.m.
Now Also On-line

What Is Plan Stratford?

It is the opportunity for residents to give input on a Plan of Conservation and Development to be used as the Town’s guide for managing growth and conserving resources.

The Town’s Planning Commission is responsible for updating the Plan every ten years as mandated by the State. The Plan addresses multiple issues related to stewardship of the Town and provides a foundation for Town policy, capital investment, and it’s zoning regulations.

Stratford last undertook this process ten years ago culminating in the 2013 POCD.  This effort will provide an updated Plan that will address important issues related to Stratford’s growth and will provide a vision for its future.

What Are The Plan Elements That Will Be Covered in the POCD?

Demographic Trends

Housing

Land Use & Zoning

Conservation, Open Space & Recreation

Economic Development

Cultural & Historic Resources

Mobility

Community Facilities, Infrastructure & Utilities

Energy & Environment

Resiliency & Waterfront Redevelopment

Placemaking & Urban Design

Why Should I Participate?

The development of PLAN STRATFORD lays the groundwork for projects such as Stratford Army Engine Plant (SAEP) and Center School redevelopment, Greenways, Complete Streets, parks and playground improvements, etc.

It promotes housing choices and resiliency initiatives, and helps advance community grand list.

Information generated to date from:

Town of Stratford Plan of Conservation and Development

Technical Advisory Committee Meeting #3 August 30th, 2022

Housing

  • Single-Family Residential on relatively larger lots prevalent in northern areas of Town
  • Higher density single-family and multifamily in central areas of Town which supports

TOD policies

Population Density

  • Areas with highest population densities are also those areas zoned for higher densities

Transit Oriented Development Zone

  • TOD Zone located in center of Town adjacent to the Train Station and municipal center
  • TOD’s in various stages of construction, approval, and planning
  • Nearly 500 multifamily units either approved or built since the past five years in and around the TOD zone
  • Mix of higher density residential zoning, commercial, and industrial within the TOD Zone

TOD Zone and Academy Hill Historic District

  • Several historic properties are listed on the state register of historic properties located within the TOD zone
  • Additional level of review involved for historic properties either through local Historic District Commission or through State Historic Preservation Office

Year Structure Was Built

  • Many homes built between 1930’s and 1970’s – 67% built before 1970
  • Far fewer built since 2000’s – under 5%
  • Naturally, Historic District has oldest structures

Apartments

  • Apartment units located throughout Town, but more concentration in the Town Center
  • Most residence apartments were approved through zoning regulation Section 5.3, which is based on old district boundaries. This regulation is obsolete now. Town needs new zoning guidance for multifamily housing between 3 and 8 units in areas outside TOD zone

Housing Summary

  • TOD’s have been proposed for locations just outside the TOD Zone boundary. Is there a need to expand the TOD Zone?
  • Section 5.3 zoning reg must be fixed to allow for 3-7 units style houses in the town. Is the Town interested in such housing types?
  • How affordable is the housing in Stratford for those in the low- and very-low income threshold? Does it make sense to allow for a moderate sized ADUs for those in the north end of the town?

Land Use and Zoning

Existing Land Use

  • Existing land use map will be updated to reflect most recent assessor’s data

Existing Zoning

  • Various zoning categories

Existing Ownership

  • Largely privately owned land in the town with some parcels under municipal ownership scattered throughout the town.
  • Town has very limited vacant land for accommodating new developments.

 Conservation, Open Space & Recreation

Open Space

  • Stratford’s Open Space resources include a variety of sports fields, parks, beaches, and Roosevelt Forest
  • Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge
  • Greenway
  • Open space/recreational facility within a 1/2 mile of each residential neighborhood

 Economic Development

Major Employers

  • Stratford’s Major Employers include:
  • Sikorsky
  • Two Roads Brewery
  • Athletic Brewing
  • Bridgeport Fittings
  • Ashcroft, Inc.

Density of Jobs

Likewise, with the exception of Sikorsky, jobs in Stratford are concentrated in the Southern portion of Town

Commuting Patterns

  • More of Stratford’s residents are commuting out of Town for employment than in in 2010

Roadway Functional Classification

  • Stratford has a robust transportation network
  • Includes Interstate 95, expressway – Merritt Parkway, minor arterials, collectors, and local roads

Average Annual Traffic Volumes

  • Higher volumes found on arterials and collectors
  • Consider locations for traffic calming measures

Sidewalk Network

  • Stratford has a network of sidewalks and crosswalks
  • Are there plans in place for maintenance or expansion?

Multimodal  Facilities

  • Stratford has made great progress towards constructing and planning for greenways and complete streets throughout Town
  • Do these locations still make sense?

Crash Analysis 2017 – 2021

  • Crash hotspots include areas along Route 1 and in the Town Center

Crash Analysis Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crashes 2017 – 2021

  • 28 Bicyclist Crashes
  • 85 Pedestrian Crashes
  • 3 Fatal Pedestrian Crashes

 Community Facilities, Infrastructure & Utilities

Community Facilities

  • Stratford’s Community Facilities are located throughout the Town
  • Does the Town need more space, if so what types?

 Energy & Environment

CT DEEP Natural Diversity Database Areas

  • Areas with a high prevalence and diversity of species
  • Generalized zones updated by CT Deep every six months
  • Areas in the NDDB zone would require DEEP review, if any large scale developments are proposed

Inland Wetlands

In CT, wetlands are delineated by soil types including

  • Alluvial and floodplain
  • Poorly drained and very poorly drained
  • Some areas in north end are not suitable for large scale housing due to soil type

Hurricane Inundation

  • Much of the area below I-95 is susceptible to Hurricane Surge Inundation
  • Town’s critical infrastructure, such as I-95, railroad, WPCF, wastewater treatment plant, and Sikorsky airport are at highest risk of flooding in the event of Category 3 and 4 hurricanes

Contaminated Areas

  • 77 Brownfields- in various stages of remediation
  • 13 Superfund Sites-in various stages of remediation
  • Located in low lying areas susceptible to flooding and hurricane storm surge
  • Will need to update this map to reflect various stages of remediation

Resiliency & Waterfront Redevelopment

How Can a POCD Incorporate Resiliency?

  • Acknowledge the four parts of resilience
  • Prepare for floods and severe storms
  • Withstand events like floods and severe storms
  • Recover from events
  • Adapt to changing conditions; this is more than reducing risks
  • Acknowledge and honor recent planning efforts
  • Allow existing land uses to continue
  • Make a firm statement about which investments the Town will make – and where – going forward

Stratford Coastal Resilience Plan (2016)

  • Funded by CDBG-DR from SuperStorm Sandy
  • Described coastal flood risks and sea level rise
  • Developed flood protection system concepts along Housatonic River shoreline and southwest of Lordship Boulevard

Regional Framework for Coastal Resilience (2017)

  • Development of green projects from 250 individual projects collected from ten municipalities
  • Emphasis was mostly on the shoreline
  • Resulted in concept designs for each of the ten municipalities
  • Stratford: Russian Beach

3rd Edition of MetroCOG Hazard Mitigation Plan (2019)

  • Lists actions that can be undertaken within five years to reduce losses at the site scale or a larger scale
  • Categories include property protection, prevention, public education, emergency services, natural resources protection, and structural projects
  • Actions range from home elevations to flood protection system segments previously developed in the Town’s coastal resilience plan

Resilient Connecticut Phase II (2020-2021)

  • Planning process resulting from the State’s application to the NDRC
  • Flood, heat, and social vulnerabilities were intersected with regional assets and infrastructure to identify 63 opportunity areas for addressing climate challenges
  • Four opportunity areas were identified in Stratford (three flood-related and one related to extreme heat)

Resilient Connecticut Phase III (2022-2023)

  • Concept design process resulting from the State’s application to the NDRC
  • South End was selected as one of only seven opportunity areas in Fairfield and New Haven Counties to advance
  • Will allow a new review of the concepts of the Town’s Coastal Resilience Plan

Other Resiliency Efforts that Covered Stratford

  • Historic Resources Resiliency Planning (2016-2017)
  • Town received a report
  • GIS mapping was developed
  • Eight actions developed for making historic resources more resilient
  • Drinking Water System Vulnerability Assessment and Resiliency Plan (2017-2018)
  • Interconnections and other redundancies recommended

What is the Town’s Resiliency Story?

  • Parts of the shoreline, the interior South End, and the commercial area along Lordship Boulevard are at significant risk of coastal floods
  • The Coastal Resilience Plan lays out methods of reducing the flood risks through flood protection systems
  • The Town may need to look at options if the flood protection systems are not constructed due to funding or property owner constraints
  • Consider concepts from Resilient Connecticut such as “resilient hubs” and “resilient corridors” that can help focus the discussion in a positive light

Placemaking & Urban Design

Streetscape Design and Façade Improvements?

  • Are there locations in Stratford that could benefit from aesthetic improvements?
  • Opportunities for streetscape design improvements such as pedestrian lighting, benches, planters, etc?

Review of Online Survey Questions

Generate Interest in the Plan

  • Emphasis on why the POCD is important
  • Guides planning and development for the coming decade
  • Emphasis on why residents should be involved

Gain valuable feedback from community

  • Wide variety of questions
  • Focus on what works and what needs improving
  • Option to answer more questions provided
  • We can provide hardcopies to leave at Library, Baldwin Center, Town Hall etc.

Sample Questions

  • Why do you reside in Stratford, what is keeping you here?

Sample Questions

  • Length of time in Stratford

Sample Questions

  • Question about children in the school system
  • Parents often have different priorities than residents without children

Sample Questions

  • Thoughts about Stratford

Sample Questions

  • Question targeted at business owners

Sample Questions

  • Question targeted at business owners

Sample Questions

  • Question targeted at business owners

Sample Questions

  • What should the Town focus MORE of over the next decade?

Sample Questions

  • What should the Town focus LESS of over the next decades

Sample Questions

  • What concerns you most about the future of Stratford?

Workshop Format Workshop Timeline

  • 5:30 – 6:00 PM: Sign in and promotional video/open house
  • 6:00 PM – 6:30: Presentation and interactive polling session
  • 6:30 – 7:30: Break-out sessions
  • 7:30 – 8:00: Report back and next steps, closing

Break-out Session Draft Questions

  • Where do you spend time with family and friends in Stratford (specify public places only)? How can we promote more such places in Stratford and where?
  • If you could implement one project in Stratford, what would it be?
  • Stratford is forecasted to grow in population over the next decade. But there are not enough vacant housing units currently to accommodate all this growth. Should Stratford grow? If you believe the Town needs more housing, where should it be built and what types of housing should it be?
  • There will be more seniors in Stratford (55+) in ten years from now based on our 2020 census data analysis. Young adults (20-29 year olds) are also forecasted to grow. What kind of housing types should we encourage for these growing senior citizens and young adults in Stratford?

Break-out Session Draft Questions

  • What Town in Connecticut or the New England Region would serve as a good role model for encouraging positive growth and development in Stratford? Why?
  • What would encourage you to walk or bike more often for taking local transportation trips within Stratford?
  • Twenty years from now, would you prefer living by the water (near Stratford Coast) or away from the coast? Why?
  • If you were to re-imagine the look of Stratford’s major transportation corridors such as Barnum Avenue or Stratford Avenue, what would they look like?
  • How could Stratford’s waterfront be improved?
  • What are the energy/infrastructure improvements and opportunities that the Town should pursue?
  • Do you think the Town is doing a good job protecting

its environmental resources such as rivers, streams,

Example board created for Durham, we will bring forested areas, and coastline?

something similar to Stratford to collect feedback during the workshop

Break-out Session Draft Questions

  • Do you think Stratford has adequate parks and open spaces for you enjoy? If not, please elaborate on your response.
  • How do we ensure that Stratford’s youth get involved and invested in Stratford? In other words, how can we make Stratford’s community stronger? How can we retain Stratford’s youth?
  • Do you have access to healthy food where you live? Would you like to grow your own food in your community in the near future?
  • What if anything would cause you to leave Stratford in the next ten years?
  • Schools? Not enough housing choices? No good quality parks? Very few places to have fun? Rising waters? Other
  • What types of businesses would you like to see more of in Stratford?

Future Technical Advisory Committee Meetings

Topic Focused Meetings

  • September and October: Public Workshop update, online survey findings
  • November through January 2023 –

Topic based meetings – 3-4 Topic groups per meeting

Next Steps

  • 3 Public Workshops!
  • Interviews with Boards and Commissions – November
  • Meeting with High School Students

Thank You!

Who Is On The Planning Team?

Technical Advisory Committee Members Are:

Laura Hoydick. Mayor

Jermaine Atkison. Deputy Fire Chief

Susmitha Attota. Town Planner/POCD Project Manager

Paul Aurelia. Planning Commission Member

Andrea Boissevain. Health Director

Brian Budd. Administrative Police Captain

John Casey. Town Engineer

Larry Ciccarelli. Public Safety Director

Alivia Coleman. Health Program Associate

Mary Dean. Economic Development Director

Brian Donovan. Building Official

Michael Downes. Chief of Staff

Matt Fulda. Director of MetroCOG

Jay Habansky. Planning & Zoning Administrator

Kelly Kerrigan. Conservation Superintendent

Amy Knorr, Recreation Superintendent

Brian Lampart, Fire Chief

Joseph McNeil, Police Chief

Bryan O’Connor, Chairman of Planning Commission

Tara Petrocelli, Director of Community Development

Greg Reilly, Grants Writer

Dawn Savo, Finance Director

Raynae Serra, Public Safety Director

Elizabeth Sulik, Executive Director of Stratford Housing Authority

Tamara Trojanowski, Community Services, Youth Services, and Senior Services Director

Christopher Tymniak, CAO

 

Community Advisory Committee

Bryan O’Connor, Chairman of Planning Commission

William Boyd, Vice Chairman of Planning Commission

Paul Aurelia, Regular member of Planning Commission

Sarah Graham, Regular member of Planning Commission

Alec Voccola, Regular member of Planning Commission

Tami-Lyn Morse, Alternate member of Planning Commission

Brian Stirbis, Alternate member of Planning Commission

Daniel Senft, Alternate member of Planning Commission

 

Planning Consultants

Rory Jacobson, Lead Project Manager, FHI Studio

Francisco Gomes, Senior Project Manager, FHI Studio

Dave Murphy, Subconsultant, Resilient Land and Water

Glenn Chalder, Subconsultant, Planimetrics

Susmitha Attota, AICP

Town Planner

(203) 385-4017

sattota@townofstratford.com

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