The Committee is a group of concerned stakeholders who are working together to revitalize the Frog Hollow NRZ, and we are all of us volunteers. The Committee was created by state statute in 1995 and then enabled by municipal ordinance in 1998. By law, our primary focus is deteriorated properties, which are typically taken to be blighted, as an NRZ cannot be formed or designated in an area that does not have a substantial number of these properties. Our secondary focus, namely the problems that flow from persistent blight, allows us to address issues surrounding community development, economic development, and public safety. We also serve as advocates for our NRZ, lobbying government and developers alike on behalf of our goals for the NRZ, but it is critical to note that we ourselves are not community developers, community organizers, or community activists as those terms are commonly defined in Hartford. Our actions are entirely circumscribed by state statute and municipal code. To that end, we are a quasi-governmental body that must file its meeting schedule and its meeting minutes with the Clerk of the City of Hartford. All of our meetings and documents are open to the public, and our meeting agendas are available on this web site or by request. We also have a monthly meeting reminder that we send out, and anyone can request to be on that distribution list as well.
Our NRZ is a political entity more than it is a geographic area. While our name comes from the Hartford neighborhood and includes that neighborhood as defined by the City of Hartford Planning Division of the Department of Development Services, the NRZ also includes portions of the Barry Square, Behind the Rocks, Downtown, and South Green neighborhoods.
Originally, we were two separate NRZs, the North Frog Hollow and Frog Hollow South NRZ committees. Our border was Zion and Ward Streets, and both NRZs took the name “Frog Hollow” because residents of both NRZs considered themselves to live in Frog Hollow, regardless of what the City’s Planning Division said. In 2008, the two NRZs merged, and we created a new strategic plan for the new NRZ
The Strategic Plan for the Frog Hollow NRZ
Our Strategic Plan is the centerpiece of our activities. It is the one thing the Committee is required to do by law in order to be an NRZ committee, and it governs all of our actions. The Strategic Plan was adopted by the Hartford Court of Common Council on April 6, 2011, and it is a part of the City’s plan of conservation and development, One City, One Plan.
Each year, we are required to file an annual report on the implementation of the Strategic Plan, but our role in implementing the plan is limited. As part of One City, One Plan, the Strategic Plan serves as an important reference for City planners as they evaluate proposals for our NRZ. The Strategic Plan also guides our advocacy efforts and informs our positions on proposed development projects within the NRZ, and it also outlines several projects that we can undertake as volunteers. It is not, however, a static document: we have mechanisms that allow us to add and to subtract projects from the plan. However, if we want to make a substantial change to the Strategic Plan, we are required by law to submit that change as an amendment to the plan to the Hartford City Council for its consideration.