Adopted 1975; affirmed 2005, 2015.
The League of Women Voters of Connecticut supports policies and procedures which promote comprehensive long-range planning for conservation and development of land and water resources. These include measures to preserve and protect:
- inland wetlands and water courses
- tidal wetlands
- flood hazard areas
- watershed lands
- agricultural lands, including pasture and forest lands
- open space, ridges
The League believes that the state, with provision of technical assistance, should have a major role in land use planning in cooperation with other levels of government. We recommend a regional long-range approach to planning for land and water resources. Opportunities for citizen participation in decisions concerning land and water resources should be provided.
The LWVCT believes that land use planning at all levels of government should reflect the need to conserve energy by coordinating the planning for housing, employment and mass transportation, and by zoning to encourage multi-family housing where such facilities could be served by city water and sewers.
The League supports our present system of regulating wetlands, both inland and tidal, under state law with municipalities having the option of regulating their own inland wetlands. We feel that ridges should be regulated in a similar manner. Transportation routes should be designed by a coordinated effort on all levels. Strong state involvement in the siting of oil refineries, power facilities, and airports with attention paid to regional and local concerns should be provided. Primary responsibility for other industrial facilities and regional shopping complexes should be at the local level with some regional input. In general, local people should have control over land use decisions of purely local concern, and regional and state governments over those of regional and statewide impact: since most decisions have implications at all levels, a mechanism for input and decision-making by all levels is highly desirable. For those areas of the state still lacking local controls, the state should require the adoption of local zoning regulations.
The League believes that Connecticut's existing agricultural land, (tilled, pasture, forest lots, etc.) should be protected from development and supports more state technical, legal and financial aid to preserve farmland. We strongly endorse the state's purchase of development rights for agricultural land.
The LWVCT supports the Connecticut Plan of Conservation and Development, which provides a planning process to guide the future conservation and development of Connecticut and to insure efficient use of the state's financial and natural resources. It establishes a growth policy to balance economic, environmental and social needs. The overall Plan strategy is to reinforce and conserve existing urban areas, to promote staged growth, and to preserve areas of significant environmental value.