Citizens Guide - Planning Department
About the Planning Department
The Planning Department is responsible for guiding the conservation and development of the town. By drafting plans and regulations, reviewing proposed developments, designing town projects, providing information on public and private developments, and administering the town's Geographic Information System (GIS) for mapping, information retrieval, and analysis, the Planning Department provides guidance and support to the Historic District Commission, the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission (IWWC), and the Town Planning and Zoning Commission (TPZC). All plans, applications, maps, and other information regarding IWWC business are on file and open to public inspection between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Planning Department prepares plans, reports and recommendations to guide and promote the development of land in an orderly, balanced fashion to insure the adherence to sound planning principles; serves civic groups, developers and the general public by giving information on development codes and policies; and provides professional advice and assistance to the IWWC as well as coordinating its activities.
Inland Wetlands Documents
Inland Wetlands files, the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations, the Official Wetlands Map, minutes of meetings, etc. are available in the Planning Department. Recordings of public hearings on file in Planning Department can be reviewed by appointment. Land records and maps are available in the Town Clerk's Office in Town Hall. Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations can be purchased at the Planning Department and are available for free here on the Town’s website. Copies of the meeting agenda, as well as the packet of information (applications, staff comments, correspondence, etc.) sent to IWWC members is available for public inspection both in the Planning Department the day before the meeting and at the meeting.
Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations
The Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations are the written rules that govern the protection of wetlands and watercourses in Windsor and are adopted and periodically amended by the IWWC. Inland wetland and watercourse regulation is a governmental police power that allows Windsor to regulate the use of land and buildings in such a way as to protect inland wetlands, watercourses, and the plant and animal species that depend on them for food and habitat. The Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations can be viewed free here, or can be viewed or purchased in the Planning Department between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Inland Wetlands Map
The Official Wetlands Map map identifies known inland wetlands and watercourses, derived from digital map files compiled by the United States Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, field surveys, and other sources. It is periodically amended at the petition of property owners based on field surveys, and by town staff and the Commission itself.
All inland wetlands application files are kept in the Planning Department and are open to public inspection between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Files typically contain applications; plans or proposed text; supporting materials; correspondences; staff comments; and other miscellaneous information. Completed application forms are posted online prior to a meeting and can be viewed here.
For access to a full set of plans and all other application materials, it is strongly recommended that citizens visit the Planning Department between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, well before an item is scheduled to be reviewed by the IWWC. Planning Department staff are available to explain application materials and receive valuable input from abutters and other interested parties. If you bring a regulatory oversight to the attention of staff, changes to the application will be required to meet the regulations. In other instances, staff may pass on your suggestions that an applicant might incorporate into their application if financially or otherwise feasible, resulting in a less impact on wetlands.
It should be noted that not all wetlands applications require a public hearing and there may be no opportunity to point out regulatory oversights or suggest site improvements during a public meeting. When a public hearing is required, waiting until the public hearing to suggest changes that go beyond the requirements of the regulations might not be well received by the applicant if they would delay their application or require another costly set of engineered revisions to their application. By meeting with Town staff or even the applicant well before the hearing, the applicant might incorporate suggested changes into their application if they are financially or otherwise feasible
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Did You Know?
When Town Hall was renovated back in 1990, the second floor was redesigned with an open central floor plan designed to provide one-stop shopping for all of your development needs. The Building, Economic Development, Engineering, Fire Marshal, Health, and Planning Departments are all clustered around a central visitors area so that we can help you with your permitting needs from project concept to completion in one convenient location.
Many staff members have been cross-trained to handle basic functions in other departments, so even if the official you are looking for is out of the office, chances are, someone else can at least get you started in the right direction.