Environment

Sterling Ridge Housing Complex Moves Along

by Diana Stricker | May 23, 2017 8:11 am

With Permission The new developer of the proposed Sterling Ridge housing complex appears to be close to reaching an understanding with the neighbors.  Attempts by various owners to develop the property over the past decade have been held up by legal appeals filed by the Branford Historical Society and by neighbors.

“We’re very, very close. The applicant has been working with us,” said attorney Chris Smith, of Shipman & Goodwin in Hartford, who represents neighbor Ann Trapasso, an opponent of development at that site.

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Land Use Judge Combines Two Branford Land Commission Appeals

by Diana Stricker | May 4, 2017 7:17 am

File Photo A half-acre Branford lot that is prone to coastal flooding is gaining notoriety as its owner takes his failed attempts to develop the property to the Land Use section of Hartford Superior Court.

Arsalan Altaf, through his Pawson Road LLC, is appealing denials by the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) regarding a single-family home; and denials by the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission regarding affordable housing on the same lot. Both cases were moved to the Land Use section of Hartford Superior Court, where Judge Marshall K. Berger Jr. recently approved the request by Altaf’s attorney to combine the two cases.

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Walsh: ZBA OKs Height Variance

by Sally E. Bahner | Apr 14, 2017 8:41 am

With Permission The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) heard and subsequently approved hardship arguments this week that will enable the three-story height of a renovated Walsh Intermediate School to go upwards from 35 feet to 46 feet. Four of five commissioners voted in favor of the project. 

The ZBA meeting was a continuance of the March 21 meeting in which members requested more time to survey the property to determine how its height relates to the neighborhood. 

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Branford In Motion Gets Moving

by Diana Stricker | Apr 3, 2017 8:01 am | Comments (1)

There’s good news for walkers and bicyclists in Branford — the new segment of the Shoreline Greenway Trail on the Tabor property should be complete by Fall, and a new committee is organizing called Branford in Motion.

The committee, being organized by Frank Gasparro, will emphasize safe biking and walking, and will explore ways to increase biking opportunities in Branford. There is also interest in the project by New Haven’s City Engineer Giovanni Zinn, who has come up with creative solutions for bike travel in the city.

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Kennedy Seeks End to Spraying Toxic Herbicides along State Highways

by Staff | Mar 28, 2017 8:00 am

With Permission The state Senate environmental committee has approved a bi-partisan bill that would ban the Connecticut. Department of Transportation (DOT) from spraying toxic herbicides on state highways and roads. The bill, approved by a vote of 24-6, will soon head to the Senate floor.

As the committee’s business drew to an end, Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr., (D-Branford), co-chair of the committee, led the passage of the bill, which is designed to stop the practice.

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Building Commission Welcomes New Reps; Hears Walsh Update

by Sally E. Bahner | Mar 20, 2017 8:22 am

Sally E. Bahner Photo Last week the Public Building Commission welcomed Dagmar Ridgway, Senior Center director, and Alex Palluzzi,Jr., Recreation director, as temporary members for the Community Center/Senior Center renovation project, a project that has now returned to the Building Commission after a long absence. They also welcomed two more members, one a permanent appointee to the building commission and another as a temporary member for the Walsh Intermediate School project. 

Robert Barnett, an architect who has served as project manager for several nationally acclaimed projects and has a child in the Branford School System, was appointed by the Board of Selectmen earlier this month as a permanent member of the Public Building Commission. He had been a temporary member on the Walsh project. Vincent Giordano III, project manager for Giordano Construction Company, his family’s business, took Barnett’s seat at a temporary member on the Walsh (Barnett had been serving on a temporary basis after commission member Paul Cianci moved.)

Overall, the focus of the evening was on the Walsh project. The commissioners met at Fire Headquarters.

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IWC Approves “Bog Walk” for Red Hill Woods

by Diana Stricker | Mar 17, 2017 8:11 am

With Permission It will soon be a little easier to enjoy the unique wetlands on the Branford Land Trust’s Red Hill Woods property after a wooden “bog walk” is created to span a portion of the site.

The Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) unanimously approved a permit to build a 1,200-foot boardwalk that will loop through a floodplain area and cross a 5-foot stream. Construction is expected to begin in April, and will rely on work by Land Trust members and other community volunteers.

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Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

by Sally E. Bahner | Mar 10, 2017 10:29 am

We’re not quite out of the woods yet in terms of weather, but you might want to venture into the woods (with homage to the Broadway musical) to learn about its denizens with Lauren Brown and the Branford Land Trust. Bundle up. It’s sure to be chilly. If music warms your soul, the longstanding Branford Folk Music Society offers a concert that is sure to delight.

Saturday, March 11

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Brews, Views and A New Plan of Conservation & Development

by Diana Stricker | Mar 9, 2017 8:42 am

Diana Stricker Photo Brews, views and news about upcoming long-range planning projects were on the agenda of last week’s Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission meeting.

A public hearing was held for expansion at the Thimble Island Brewery at 16 Business Park Drive, but no decision was reached. The commission unanimously approved — with conditions — a proposal by Solar City Corp. to put a solar display near the town-owned Ecology Park on Tabor Drive. And consultants were chosen for the Plan of Conservation of Development (POCD) and the Transportation Oriented Development (TOD) study. Public hearings on the planning projects could begin by early summer.

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BOS Appoints Two of Four Temporary Building Commission Members

by Diana Stricker | Mar 6, 2017 9:06 am

With Permission Two department heads have been appointed to serve as temporary members of the Public Building Commission to oversee the Community House/Senior Center project; and two seats are still open.

The Board of Selectman (BOS) unanimously appointed Dagmar Ridgway, director of the Canoe Brook Senior Center; and Alex Palluzzi, Jr., director of the Parks and Recreation Department, to serve on the commission.

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