North Stonington wants ideas from residents on town's future

North Stonington - A "community visioning session" open to residents to glean input on a long-range plan for the town is scheduled for Saturday.

The session will serve as the final public forum on the town's future Plan of Conservation and Development, meant to be a blueprint for navigating North Stonington's challenge of attracting economic development while preserving its signature rural character.

Following a breakfast and open house, Senior Planning and Zoning Official Juliet Leeming will give an overview of and update on the plan, which she hopes to complete by December. Consultants from Planimetrics Inc., who have helped to compile affordable housing and economic development plans for the town, will then lead attendees through group exercises to come up with vision statements for their community.

"This is their last opportunity to participate in a public way before the public hearings at the end after I've written it," Leeming said. "This is when I need to hear from the most people."

Last month, Leeming sent out a community survey on the plan, receiving 415 responses and 75 pages of written comments. The responses reflected many of the concerns discussed at a February presentation of the housing and economic development plans to dozens of the town's board and committee members - namely, high taxes and a lack of economic development.

"People are frustrated right now," Leeming said.

The community visioning session will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at North Stonington Elementary School. Kidds & Co. will provide on-site day care.

a.isaacs@theday.com

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