The Northwestern Connecticut Regional Planning Collaborative was created to meet land use planning and management challenges in the communities of northwest Connecticut. To accomplish this we will:

1. Prepare and share technical planning guidanceby professional planners for the eight towns in the Planning Collaborative on the issues important to our towns such as resource conservation, housing availability and affordability, and economic development.

2. Establish a comprehensive and interactive webpagefor area commissions and organizations to keep up-to-date with planning concepts, information, and resources.

3. Provide technical assistanceon specific projects, plans, and issues that have regional implications, in cooperation with other collaborating agencies where appropriate.

Staff and Contact info:

Christopher S. Wood
Phone: 203-558-0654

Chris has nearly 30 years experience in land use regulation, land use and conservation planning, and municipal planning. He holds a master’s degree in science and is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners. Wood most recently served as Town Planner for the Town of Woodbury and has Chaired the Government Relations Committee of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association for five years. Previous positions include Executive Director of the Connecticut Department of Public Utilities and Executive Director of the Connecticut Siting Council and he served on the Connecticut Energy Advisory Board for 12 years. Chris also worked with The Nature Conservancy on its Northwest Connecticut Highlands Conservation initiative.



Jocelyn Ayer
Phone: 860-435-5839

For the past 11 years, Jocelyn has been working with non-profit housing, community development and planning organizations, mainly on the issues of affordable housing and small town economic development. She holds a master’s degree in regional planning from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and currently works as Senior Planner for the NWCT Regional Planning Collaborative. She also provides staff assistance to HousingUs, an initiative of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.



Kristen Ponak

Kristen is a Staff Scientist/GIS Specialist for GEI Consultants. Her previous work involved being a Research Associate with the Candlewood Lake Authority, a Resource Assistant for the Wildlife Division with the CT DEP, and a Program Assistant/ GIS Cartographer with the Northwest Conservation District.


Committee & Partners:

The Regional Planning Collaborative Oversight Committee will work with Collaborative staff to set priorities and meet long-term objectives. It consists of:

  • Pat Mechare, First Selectman Falls Village
  • Ruth Skovron, Falls Village Planning and Zoning Commission
  • Tom McGowan, Planning Consultant

The Committee is supported by the two regional planning agencies of NW Connecticut: the Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials, staffed by Executive Director Rick Lynn, and the Northwestern Connecticut Council of Governments staffed by Executive Director Dan McGuiness.

In addition, we will coordinate our work with the following partner organizations that also provide planning related services to this region. Our Partners include:

Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials


The State-recognized regional planning organization for the 11-town Litchfield Hills area which will help oversee and manage the Collaborative.

Northwestern Connecticut Council of Governments


The State-recognized regional planning organization for the 9-town Northwest Connecticut region which will help oversee and manage the Collaborative.

The Nature Conservancy, Connecticut Chapter


Their mission is to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. The Nature Conservancy pursues non-confrontational, pragmatic, market-based solutions to conservation challenges.

Northwest Conservation District


A unique, local non-profit serving the towns and people of Northwest Connecticut since 1953. They are dedicated to the conservation and wise use of local natural resources by providing technical services and education. They provide answers, technical know-how and on-site assistance to local land use staff, commission members and residents.

The Housatonic Valley Association


The Association works to conserve the natural character and environmental health of our communities by protecting and restoring the lands and waters of the Housatonic Watershed for this and future generations.

Litchfield Hills Greenprint



A partnership of The Trust For Public Land and the Housatonic Valley Association, promotes coordinated, long-term and locally driven conservation to ensure that the ecological qualities of this landscape and the character of its communities endure for generations to come.

CT Farmland Trust


The mission of the Connecticut Farmland Trust is to permanently protect Connecticut's working farmland. To further this mission, CFT accepts donations of and purchases agricultural conservation easements and farmland, and partners with towns and land trusts to identify threatened farms and opportunities for land protection.


Our work would not be possible without the critical financial support from the following:

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

CL&P- Yankee Gas Services

Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut

Connecticut Main Street Center

CT Office of Policy & Management

Litchfield Bancorp

National Iron Bank Salisbury Bank & Trust

Torrington Savings Bank

Union Savings Bank

Webster Bank

Our member towns

Thank you!