Borough development plan approved

WATERUBRY — Naugatuck’s Municipal Development Plan took another step toward implementation Tuesday when the Regional Planning Commission of the Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley unanimously voted it to be in accord with the plan of development for the region.

A presentation was given to the commission by Dick Herald and Dave Prendergast, CEO of the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation, outlining the different phases of the Naugatuck Municipal Development Plan and the commercial, public and private improvements slated for borough’s core.

The pair described the “new urbanism” movement and the transit-oriented changes that they hope can improve Naugatuck’s economic foundation in great detail.

Prospective buildings with commercial uses on first floors and residential uses on upper floors, as well as the negotiation of properties were both topics discussed by the Regional Planning Commission.

Herald and Prendergast expressed their desire to return the borough to its once-sprawling past.

“What we’re trying to do is bring back to downtown Naugatuck the vitality that was once there,” Herald said.

According to state statue, local economic development plans must be sent to regional municipal councils to see if standards are in accordance with standing regional plans.

To be in accord with the plan of development for the region, the Naugatuck Municipal Development Plan had to involve several aspects the regional plan is based upon.

Some of desired aims of a municipal plan, according to the COGCNV, are:

  • Aggressively pursue economic development for the region
  • Coordinate economic development agencies
  • Promote growth with expansion of development
  • Guide the location of development to a regional center
  • Encourage development in locations compatible with highways
  • Make infrastructure and transportation improvements
  • Incorporate with regional transportation center

After the presentation Martin Cobern chairman of the Regional Planning Commission of the COGCNV, commended the presentation of the details and gave his personal approval of the plan.

“It seems, in my mind, the Naugatuck Municipal Development Plan is very well in accord with these objectives put forth in the regional plan,” Cobern said.

Other commission members commented on the plan, acknowledging how important the Renaissance Place project is, not only to the borough of Naugatuck, but the entire Naugatuck Valley region.

The vote was passed unanimously and the plan was ruled to be in complete accordance with the regional economic plan. The vote marked the completion of yet another step on the ladder to allowing the borough to act on and carry out its economic development plans.