Dynamic and Resilient Planning

These actions involve the long-lasting well-being of the town. It is encouraged to develop agriculture friendly practices, establishing easier processes for solar installation, and incorporating sustainable practices into the Plan of Conservation and Development.

Completed Actions

4.3 Develop Agriculture-Friendly Practices

  • Objective:
    • Create an agriculture-friendly community through taking steps to actively support farms and farmers in your city or town.
  • Completion:
    • To complete part of this action, the town of Essex participated in a farmer forum to identify critical needs or issues for agriculture in municipality. The town and committee also support and promote the use of community garden spaces.

Actions In Progress

4.1 Integrate Sustainability into Plan of Conservation and Development and Zoning

  • Objective:
    • Integrate sustainability principles into land use planning rules.
  • What needs to be done:
    • Review your POCD and adopt a revised POCD that includes the Hazard Mitigation Plan goals and at least 3 additional sustainability concepts, plus a meaningful preface and index highlighting the integration of sustainability concepts.
    • Review your zoning regulations and, after a meaningful process of community engagement (See the Sustainable CT Equity Toolkit), adopt revisions to incorporate at least 3 sustainability concepts.

4.4 Assess Climate Vulnerability

  • Objective:
    • Understand how climate change will likely impact your community, so you can better prepare.
  • What needs to be done:
    • Perform a Climate Vulnerability Assessment. Assess your community’s vulnerability to primary effects of climate change, like coastal and riverine flood risk, sea level rise, and extreme temperature fluctuations.
    • Identify how the secondary impacts of climate change are likely to affect your community.
    • Demonstrate that special consideration has been given to low and moderate-income residents and their particular vulnerability to impact of extreme weather events and inability to recover and identify risks to vulnerable communities.

4.5 Inventory and Assess Historic Resources

  • Objective:
    • Determine the long-term viability of your community’s historic resources and prioritize preservation efforts.
  • What needs to be done:
    • Identify priority historic assets within your community, and actions required to sustain their long-term viability.
    • For a historic asset included in your priority list, assess its viability and long-term health.
    • Sponsor or host an educational workshop or program to educate owners of historic homes on how to manage their historic building(s) sustainably.
    • Achieve “Certified Local Government” status.

4.6 Streamline Solar Permitting for Small Solar Installations

  • Objective:
    • Encourage residential solar deployment by reducing transactional costs for small solar PV installations by making the solar permitting process transparent and simple.
  • What needs to be done:
    • Review zoning requirements and identify restrictions that intentionally or unintentionally prohibit solar PV development.
    • Create and make available an online checklist detailing the steps of your community’s solar permitting process.
    • Require no more than one application form for a rooftop PV project.
    • Review the permitting process for efficiency improvements. Reduce processing time to 30 days or fewer.
    • Integrate solar PV and/or shared solar (pilot project(s) and/or virtual net metering) into your local energy, climate, and conservation plans.
    • Train building inspectors and permitting staff on solar PV technologies and best practices for solar permitting.
    • Train planning staff on best practices in planning and zoning for solar PV.