CT zoning federation honors retired Shelton P&Z commissioner

Shelton Planning and Zoning Commission member Tony Pagoda.

Shelton Planning and Zoning Commission member Tony Pagoda.

Autumn Driscoll / ST

SHELTON — Anthony Pogoda has been gone from the city zoning scene for a year, but his two-plus decades of work have not been forgotten.

The Connecticut Federation of Planning and Zoning Agencies recently honored Pogoda with its Lifetime Achievement Award for his service to the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission, on which he sat for 27 years before resigning in May 2020 and moving out of state.

“I was honored and privileged to serve the community,” Pogoda, who appeared at the commission’s Zoom meeting earlier this week, said.

Pogoda praised the commissioners, past and present, that he worked alongside during his career in Shelton. He also credited the leadership of Mayor Mark Lauretti in championing the city’s development and downtown revitalization.

Lauretti, who appeared on the meeting, praised Pogoda, calling him a “true model for countless generations to follow” for his selfless service to the community.

“The work we started 25 years ago is paying dividends now, and you and others played such a big part in that,” Lauretti said.

Lauretti credited Pogoda for his efforts on a zoning commission that has played a major part of development along Bridgeport Avenue and the redevelopment of downtown, including the Riverwalk area. The commercial development has helped, Lauretti said, the city’s grand list jump from less than $1 billion years ago to $5 billion at present.

“I don’t think I have enough time to articulate all the things that have transpired over the last 30 years that you have played such a significant part in as a public servant,” Lauretti said, saying that he plans to present Pogoda with a proclamation honoring him next time he visits the city.

“The evolution here is incredible … we have transformed a city from old, industrial, blue collar community to a corporate hub … an employment center in the state,” Lauretti said to Pogoda. “On any given day, there are 20,000 to 25,000 people commuting here to work. It speaks volumes and you were a big part of that.”

Commission Chair Virginia Harger called Pogoda "an extremely valuable, committed member of the commission. I relied heavily on his expertise and his input and advice was always welcomed. Tony always looked at an application based on what was appropriate for the entire city of Shelton."

During Pogoda’s time on the commission, Harger said, Pogoda offered his input on several major completed projects, all of which have brought residential, employment and services to city residents.

Among the projects completed during his tenure were seven Bridgeport Avenue shopping centers — The Marketplace, Crown Point, Kings Point, Walmart, Split Rock, CVS/Kinko's, Staples/Panera Bread — and numerous commercial and light industrial buildings on Constitution Boulevard, Waterview Drive, Ivy Brook, River Road, Commerce Drive, Corporate Drive, Enterprise Drive and Research Drive.

Pogoda also offered input on single-family subdivisions on Basking Brook Lane, Lake Road, Perry Hill Road; the projects known as Hawk's Ridge, Shelton Cove, Heritage Point, Wells Spring Estates and Four Winds as well as The Water's Edge, Crescent Village, Rivendell, Birmingham and Renaissance condo complexes.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com