Plan of Conservation and Development

Agency: American Planning Association
State: Federal
Type of Government: State & Local
NAICS Category:
  • 541330 - Engineering Services
  • 541611 - Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services
  • 541620 - Environmental Consulting Services
  • 541990 - All Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Posted Date: Jun 22, 2021
Due Date: Jul 19, 2021
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Plan of Conservation and Development Town of Manchester

Manchester, CT

Project Introduction

The Town of Manchester seeks the services of a qualified land use planning firm or team to assist the Planning and Zoning Commission in the preparation and adoption of the Town's Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD), in accordance with Connecticut General Statutes Section 8-23. "Manchester 2020", the current Plan of Development, was last revised nearly ten years ago and formally adopted in December 2012. The Commission anticipates completion and adoption of this next Plan by fall 2022. The revised plan must be completed and ready to be adopted by December 2022.

The current POCD has served Manchester well, providing clear guidance for the past decade on a multitude of critical issues, including zoning revisions, housing and community development, and redevelopment efforts. That plan was organized around Connecticut's Growth Management Principles and defined Character areas for Manchester's diverse land use. Many goals from Manchester 2020 have been fully or partially achieved, while the Town continues to work toward others. A matrix of implementation progress is attached. Given its continued relevance, the 2022 update could use the recommendations in Manchester 2020 as one starting point for a new plan. The Town's Parks & Facilities Master Plan , to be completed by this summer (2021) could similarly serve as one starting point for a new plan ( Link ).

While existing plans should provide context and guidance, the Town also seeks a new approach for the plan's process, organization and format. The completed POCD should be innovative and accessible. The planning process should be inclusive. The expectation is that the resulting plan be of award-winning caliber. This POCD will be accessible to both decision makers and the general public and be easily accessed and useful. Special attention should be paid to the plan's visual and graphic appeal. Examples of inspiration might include recent masterplans for Minneapolis , MN, Hartford , CT, and Portland, ME . The Plan must conform to Connecticut statutory requirements but should also address the issues of equity and sustainability, and potentially community health. While not required, a portion of the plan may also serve as the Town's Affordable Housing Plan as per recently passed HB 6107.

The Town intends for this to be the most inclusive and comprehensive long-range planning process the Manchester community has undergone. Public engagement for this project should be fully inclusive in order to determine community needs and values, producing a guiding vision and themes for the Plan. A variety of formats, which could include web, social media, video, participatory workshops and charrettes and road show presentations should be utilized. Facilitating participation by underrepresented populations (children and youth, ethnic and racial minorities, low-to-moderate income residents and young adults) should receive particular focus. Additional potential opportunities for interactive engagement unique to Manchester include, but are not limited to:

  • Your Voice Matters engagement platform
  • Plan website
  • Manchester Road Race
  • WORK_SPACE co-working and meeting center and art gallery
  • Office of Neighborhoods and Families
  • Spruce Street Market
  • Downtown and other community events
  • Award winning park system and new cricket field
  • Bicentennial planning (2023)

About Manchester

Manchester is a growing, diverse and dynamic community of approximately 58,000 residents. Located eleven miles east of Hartford, Manchester is one of the most demographically and socioeconomically diverse municipalities in Connecticut, with households and families representing a plethora of cultures, traditions, beliefs and ethnicities. Home to significant populations of all generations, t Manchester's median age is younger than Hartford County and Connecticut as a whole. Outside of Hartford, the Town is projected to be the largest municipality in the region within the next 10 years, with a projected 2030 population of roughly 68,000.

Manchester is a substantially developed and mature community with a variety of neighborhoods, commercial and mixed-use centers, open spaces and natural resources. Attractive neighborhoods, employment opportunities, shopping and entertainment destinations, responsive and professional local government and access to award winning parks and other amenities make Manchester a vibrant and desirable place to live. The town's prime location on the regional highway network offers convenient access to other regional assets, adding to its desirability as a residential location. Housing developments of many types and sizes have helped fuel its growth over the decades and Manchester's uniquely diverse housing stock continues to offer a wide range of housing options for people and families at any stage of life. These locational advantages have made Manchester the primary residential location in the "East of the River" region. Manchester's existing and possible future transportation infrastructure, its development pattern and its relative lack of available, undeveloped land make infill, adaptive reuse and transit-oriented-development (TOD) opportunities critically important.

Manchester is the leading economic driver in the eastern Greater-Hartford region. With a wide range of commercial, industrial and mixed-use districts, Manchester has one of the most diverse local economies in the state. The Buckland Hills District alone boasts over 3 million square feet of retail and entertainment, thousands of residential units and hundreds of hotel rooms. Downtown Manchester has been a center of recent redevelopment, community events and new business growth, and offers an expanding restaurant scene, a wide variety of professional services and retailers, and WORK_SPACE, Manchester's co-working and meeting space. In terms of industrial uses, businesses within the Manchester Business Park, Buckland Industrial Park Winstanley Logistics Center and Adams Street/New State Road Area are significant contributors to the regional economy. Sizable societal changes will have an impact on these and all of Manchester's assets. However as it has been for nearly 200 years, Manchester continues to be an adaptive community where progress is both expected and welcomed. Market, demographic and cultural shifts are seen as opportunities here. This plan should help answer the question- "so what's next?"

Current and Recent Planning Efforts

The Town staff has numerous completed or ongoing planning efforts which should be considered for this POCD update. The updated POCD should complement existing Town plans and strategies, including but not limited to, the current Plan of Conservation and Development ( Manchester 2020 ), the Parks, Recreation & Facilities Masterplan currently nearing completion, the efforts of the Repurposed Schools Committee, the Broad Street Redevelopment Plan , the Children Youth and Families Master Plan and the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Initiative .

The consultant should be prepared to engage with all Boards and Commissions and community groups. These include but are not limited to the Board of Directors, Economic Development Commission, African American and Black Affairs Council, Sustainability Commission, Youth Commission, Conservation Commission, Latino Affairs Counsel, Land Acquisition and Historic Property Investment Committee, Repurposed Schools Committee, Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Library Committee, Senior Center Advisory Board, Downtown Special Services District, and Housing and Fair Rent Commission.

Anticipated Roles of the Selected Consultant

The anticipated roles of the selected consultant in undertaking the Plan of Conservation and Development is as follows:

  1. Establish an appropriate planning process and project timeline.
  2. Review Manchester 2020 Plan, the results of the intended goals, and the reasons for success and deviations from the Plan.
  3. Develop and execute a detailed engagement plan to be implemented throughout the planning process.
  4. Ensure the plan follows all State Statutes in its preparation, drafting and adoption.
  5. Collect, analyze and assemble data utilized in the preparation of the plan.
  6. Prepare relevant mapping, data visualizations, and Plan graphics.
  7. Examine land use, transportation, natural resources, housing, the economy and incorporate findings and recommendations.
  8. Perform scenario planning exercises to illustrate potential development opportunities at +/-4 key centers or districts.
  9. Research and study sustainability trends and indicators, and include those in the plan.
  10. Conduct public engagement and/or surveys to identify and consider issues of community importance.
  11. Work with the Commission, office staff and other municipal entities to identify major themes and recommendations.
  12. Prepare draft chapters as directed.
  13. Attend and lead workshops, public informational meetings and public hearings of the Planning and Zoning Commission to gather public input, and to present findings and recommendations.

In addition to the above tasks, the Town is committed to addressing areas of interest that have emerged since the previous plan, primarily sustainability and equity. Respondents should address how their project approach would incorporate the traditional tasks associated with land use plans of conservation and development while incorporating sustainability and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) frameworks where appropriate.

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Monday, July 19, 2021
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