West Hartford Forums

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I’ve Got the Planning and Zoning Commission Blues

Posted by whforums on June 28, 2008

It’s hard times if you’re working on the Planning and Zoning Commission.

According to last week’s West Hartford News, the Town Council doesn’t seem to have its ears all the way open. The PZC told the Council in 2007 that they opposed valet parking, elevated signage and outdoor seating for PF Chang’s, which opens at Westfarms sometime soon (if construction is any indicator). Despite this opposition, the council approved the changes, only removing the contentious point of valet parking.

Fast forward to this month, when the PZC once again opposed elevated signage and outdoor seating changes for another new restaurant, Brio, citing concerns that it would cause the building to look “disjointed in appearance.” The Council’s response? Unanimous approval of the changes. As if that’s not bad enough, one councilman said to Westfarm’s general manager “Aesthetically, we are turning the mall more or less inside out. I hope to see you you and the team back again in the future and continue down that road.” Just don’t expect it to be paved by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

It’s comforting, really, to know we’re listening to each other’s judgment, even that we may put aside our own beliefs about planning and zoning when the people who are paid to understand planning, zoning and their potential impacts, speak. This does give me an idea, though … if we’re going to ignore the Planning and Zoning Commission on issues such as these, maybe we should just axe them from the budget entirely?

Not that I’m feeling particularly cynical at the moment.

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One Response to “I’ve Got the Planning and Zoning Commission Blues”

  1. Kevin Walsh said

    The Town Planning & Zoning Commission is, like the Town Council, a volunteer body. Whatever it is they may be paid to do, the town isn’t writing the checks.

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