The mission of the Department of Planning and Zoning is to protect and improve Danbury’s neighborhoods, business centers, community resources and our natural environment while planning for sustainable development that will enhance the quality of life for all our residents. To that end, the department has been instrumental in the preparation of plans, projects and land use regulations for the city. City-wide plans have included the Plan of Conservation & Development, Transportation Plan and Parks & Recreation Plan. Major projects have included downtown redevelopment, the creation of the Ives Trail concept, restoration of Elmwood Park, and construction of the 9/11 Memorial.
A primary task of the department is the enactment and enforcement of zoning and subdivision regulations designed to ensure that proposed developments are constructed in accordance with the Plan of Conservation and Development. The department reviews site plans and assists the Planning Commission in the review of special exception and subdivision applications. Our department also assists with referrals from City Council for requests for extensions of sewer and water service, dedication of roads, and offers to buy, sell or lease city land. The department advises the Zoning Commission on all proposals for zoning amendments and the rezoning of land.
The department prepares the annual Capital Improvement Program to schedule major capital expenditures over time, reviews all applications under the Deferral of Assessment Increases program, and updates and corrects street addresses in the city.
The Planning Director serves as Executive Director of the Danbury Redevelopment Agency. Departmental responsibilities for downtown redevelopment have included the recruitment of new businesses, the coordination of streetscape improvements on Main and White Streets, construction of the Patriot Garage, creation of the Danbury Green, and preparation of the downtown revitalization plan, Downtown Danbury: Issues & Recommendations.
The Planning Director advises the Main Street Partnership and also serves as an alternate member of the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials, as a member of the Danbury Housing Partnership, and as an ex-officio member of the CityCenter Danbury Board of Directors.
Professional and clerical staff provides support services to the Planning and Zoning Commissions and the Redevelopment Agency, while clerical support is provided to the Environmental Impact Commission.
The department began updating the ten-year old Plan of Conservation & Development and assisted in the preparation of an Entertainment License for the downtown.
The department administered a consultant study to determine restoration needs and potential uses for Hearthstone Castle and managed consultant activities to complete the Ives Trail. A five-year capital improvement plan was prepared and submitted to the Planning Commission for approval and forwarding to City Council.
The department continues to review and prepare revisions to the city’s Zoning Regulations and other land use regulations to address changing conditions which threaten the city with undesirable development that may intrude upon residential neighborhoods, harm the environment, or create unacceptable traffic congestion. All current zoning and subdivision regulations are available to the public on the city’s website under the Planning and Zoning Department entry.
Despite the economic problems facing the country, Danbury remains one of the fastest growing cities in Connecticut. Recent approvals have included, among others, the new shopping center at Marcus Dairy, a hotel off Mill Plain Road near Exit 2, and continued residential development at the ‘Reserve’ in the city’s west side.