Friday, August 27, 2010

End of the American McMansion?

Here is an interesting blurb from CNN Money, indicating the average American home is starting to shrink after years of expansion:

For those interested in housing-related trends, take a look at a report by the Urban Land Institute entitled Housing in America: The Next Decade. It's available in our Reference Library.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Manchester's Former Trolley Lines

Exploring possibilities for more public transit between Manchester's activity centers has been one of the themes brought up by participants in the first two Quadrant Discovery Workshops. Many people noted Manchester once had a system of trolley lines. We found this map of the Connecticut Company's East Hartford, Manchester and Rockville lines in Images of Rail: Hartford Trolleys by the Connecticut Motor Coach Museum. The map shows a line running from Hartford and East Hartford west to the former Laurel Park, through Depot Square and on to Rockville. Branches also brought passengers to and from Manchester Green and South Manchester. Click on the map to view a zoomable pdf.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Southeast Quadrant Workshop- September 14th- Don't Miss It!

The third of our four Quadrant discovery workshops will take place on Tuesday, September 14th at 7:00 p.m. in the Bennet Academy cafeteria. At this workshop we will be discussing the Southeast Quadrant, which includes the historic East Side, Highland Park and Martin neighborhoods. This area includes parts of Downtown, the Porter and Howard Reservoirs, Case Mountain, Globe Hollow, Charter Oak Park and part of the Charter Oak Greenway, Oak Grove Nature Center, parts of East Center and East Middle Turnpike, and many other natural features and land uses. As in the first two Quadrant workshops, we will be engaging in conversation about what is going on in this part of town, what we would like it to be like in the future, and how it might relate to the State's Growth Management principles. We had at least 55 people participate at each of the previous two Quadrant workshops. Let's keep the momentum going!

To RSVP, please call the Manchester Planning Department at 860-647-3044 or email us at

Monday, August 9, 2010

How Walkable is Your Neighborhood?

A desire for walkability has been a common theme at the first two Quadrant discovery workshops. Manchester is fortunate in that we already have many walkable residential neighborhoods. How walkable is your neighborhood? Go to and type in your address to find out. If you are willing, make a comment below and let us know how your neighborhood rates!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

1,000 Hits and New Reference Library Links! just had our 1,000th web hit! To celebrate, we have updated our ever-expanding Reference Library with three new links. "Retrofitting Suburbia" (20 minute video) and "Bicycle-Friendly Communities" (slide show presentation) address two issues brought up by many people during our first two Quadrant discovery workshops.
In the first, Ellen Dunham-Jones, architect and a board member of the Congress for the New Urbanism, discusses how under-performing suburban shopping centers and parking lots provide opportunities for retrofitting and redeveloping into more sustainable uses. The second is a presentation from the League of American Bicyclists on what communities can do to be considered bike-friendly.

We have also included a ABC News Special Report published earlier this week entitled "Smart Money in Real Estate is on Smart Growth". You can find these and many other resources HERE.

Here's to our next 1,000 hits!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Change of Open Hours Location

Due to a police emergency in town today, we are unable to use the Police Department community room for our open hours. We are changing the location to the Lincoln Center Directors Room, 494 Main Street. For more information, please call the Planning Department at 860-647-3044.

Monday, August 2, 2010

NE Quadrant Comments: The Redevelopment and Revitalization of Commercial Centers

Here is the final map with compiled comments from the Northeast Quadrant discovery workshop. This one highlights Growth Management Principle 3: Redevelopment and Revitalization of Commercial Centers and Areas of Mixed Land Uses.

Looking forward to seeing many of you at the open hours tomorrow from 12-6 in the Police Department Community Room. Stop by to see all the maps and comments and to make some of your own.

Also, stay tuned for news on our third Quadrant discovery workshop on the Southeast Quadrant.

NE Quadrant Comments: Cultural and Historic Resources

Below is the map of compiled comments on cultural and historic resources from the Northeast Quadrant discovery workshop.