GUILFORD – Guilford town legislators opted to table the municipality’s draft comprehensive plan following a public hearing on Wednesday, citing language and typographical errors within the document that have some residents feeling uneasy.
Wednesday’s hearing was a chance for Guilford town residents to chime in on the 54-page vision plan which has been four years in the making. Townships are encouraged by state and federal agencies to have a comprehensive plan in place and updated every three to five years in order to be eligible for grant funding for various projects and to solicit private business development.
While most residents showed support the town’s vision, some argued the need for further clarification, particularly when it comes to land use and environmental health as it relates to natural gas development. One speaker questioned parts of the plan that unclearly distinguish the phrase “any town property” as being property owned by the municipality or property owned by a town resident.
But despite minor errors and ambiguities, most spoke in favor of the plan, calling it a necessary measure to secure the future of Guilford.
“I think (the plan) is fair and balanced, and it reflects the diverse opinions of the community,” said Ken Fogarty, town resident and member of the Guilford Economic Development Board. “For economic development, I know that when (a business) considers investing in a town, they look to see what kind of climate they’re thinking of entering ... I don't think these businesses are frightened when they see diverse opinions. That, in fact, is very inviting. It lets you know (Guilford) is balanced, and the people here listen to each other.”..