Why do we plan?
Many public decisions are made without adequate planning, often in response to pressure groups with little thought for bettering the community’s general welfare. Or with no thought as to how their input once implemented will be detrimental to others. East Lyme continues to be affected by events and trends in the community, the region, the country, and the world. Changes in population, housing, and the economy are influenced by transportation, utility, business and regulatory changes. As East Lyme landscape changes, population increases, and resources utilized, a conscious effort and intelligent thoughtful planning are necessary in order to guide future events to achieve a desirable place to live, work, and do business. From a land use perspective, the challenge lies in addressing growth and change so that the needs of the community and its residents, both present and future are met in the most efficient and cost-effective manner, the character of the Town is maintained, and the overall quality of life is enhanced.
What Planning is Designed to Do
Public planning is a process that guides decision making aimed at reaching community goals, such as maintaining East Lyme’s community character and overall quality-of-life.
Advantages of Planning
- Helps local government insure adequate services for its citizens; and minimizes costs for Town funded projects. As an example, proper planning will prevent ripping up a road just paved to install new water lines. With planning, the water lines would be installed before the road was paved, thus preventing the re-work.
- Contributes to area stability so individuals may plan for the future with respect to their residence or business.
- Establishes and preserves acceptable land and water use patterns for agriculture, business, industries, communities, recreation and highways.
- Assists in preventing premature urbanization and overcrowding of areas, which would result in increased demands for services and facilities and the need for higher taxes to support these facilities and services.
- Subdivision control, which acts as a preventative measure guarding against improper lot layout and inadequate subdivision preparation. Subdivision control serves to promote and ensure the orderly development of the land within the town in order that the land, when subdivided, may be used for building purposes without danger to the public health, safety and general welfare of the town. Additionally, subdivision control protects East Lyme’s community character and social and economic stability of the Town.
The Planning Process
Planning requires a constant evaluation of what has happened in terms of implementation and making necessary refinements to ensure that desired results are achieved. Also, we must continually adapt and respond to changes in population, housing, and the economy that are influenced by transportation, utility, business, and regulatory changes beyond community control. Pressing issues in East Lyme addressed in the 2009 Plan of Conservation and Development include affordable housing, limiting sprawl into rural areas, maintaining and enhanceing community character, and protecting sensitive environmental resources. Other issues to be addressed in future updates include the following:
- Unexpected disaster control;
- Stormwater Management/Watershed Issues;
- Creating Tax Base Sufficient to maintain services; and
- Adequate Infrastructure to support growth.