Sterling Ridge Housing Project Gains Favor

by Diana Stricker | Jun 21, 2017 8:00 am

With Permission The long-proposed Sterling Ridge residential project, in the heart of one of Branford’s historic districts, may be nearer to reality.

The Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission discussed the most recent plans Thursday and asked the town planner to draft a resolution in favor of the project. The commission may vote on the resolution at the July 6 meeting. The property owner is seeking a modification of a previous Planned Development District (PDD) and Master Plans. If approved, the next step would be filing specific site plans.

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A Boutique Hotel for the Branford River

by Diana Stricker | Jun 15, 2017 8:00 am | Comments (2)

Diana Stricker Photo Ed Crowley, owner of the popular Stony Creek Brewery, unveiled plans Wednesday to build a 34-room boutique hotel along the Branford River.

Diana Stricker Photo The waterfront hotel would be built on the site of the former Paul’s Wire Rope & Sling company at 4-6 Indian Neck Avenue, which is across from the brewery. The Crowley family, who live in Branford, purchased the property for $600,000 in September 2016.

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House Passes Bill To Curtail Affordable Housing Act Abuses

by marcia chambers | May 31, 2017 12:13 pm

File Photo Shortly before midnight, the state’s House of Representatives passed an affordable housing bill aimed at curtailing exploitation by developers under the Affordable Housing Act. By a vote of 116-13, the House voted overwhelmingly to update the statute.

The bill now goes to the Senate, and if called, is expected to pass. However, the 2017 legislative session heads to mandatory adjournment next week on June 7 and often bills get stuck, dying on the other side of the midnight deadline. 

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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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Wanted: New Ideas to Redevelop Train Station Area

by Diana Stricker | May 18, 2017 8:04 am | Comments (2)

File Photo Have you ever wondered if there could be better linkage between the newly expanded Shoreline East Train Station and Branford’s Town Center?  Could improvements in the half-mile radius around the train station tie in with the historic downtown and the waterfront? Are there opportunities for re-development?

Those are some of the topics up for discussion as the Town of Branford hosts the first public workshop for the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) study on Monday, May 22, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Canoe Brook Senior Center. The workshop is open to anyone who lives or works in Branford.

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RTM Backs Out; Parkside Village Stays Put

by marcia chambers | May 8, 2017 8:17 am

With Permission In the end a new park in Branford Hills will remain a park and Parkside Village, an affordable housing complex on South Montowese Street, will expand at the site it has called home for decades. 

An RTM sub-committee’s decision late last month to abandon the idea of placing a newly constructed Parkside Village at a town-owned Branford Hills park across town in Branford Hills was met with strong applause from residents in each neighborhood. They attended the meeting in the community room at Fire Headquarters. Parkside Village, which is overseen by state law, is not a town entity or a town project.

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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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P&Z Hearing On Tap For Sterling Ridge Apartments

by Diana Stricker | May 2, 2017 7:36 am

With Permission A public hearing will continue this week for the long proposed Sterling Ridge apartments in Branford’s Canoe Brook Historic District.

The property in question is a 3.45 acre lot at 26 Cherry Hill Road, across the street from the Canoe Brook Senior Center, and adjacent to the historic Harrison House on Main Street.  Several owners have attempted to develop the site since 2003, but were stalled by various issues, including legal appeals by the Branford Historical Society and neighbors. The neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Atlantic Wharf Project Moves Forward

by Diana Stricker | Apr 27, 2017 7:40 am

With Permission The Atlantic Wharf residential and retail complex in the heart of Branford is another step closer to reality now that the a court appeals process has ended. A permit to demolish the crumbling Atlantic Wire building may be the next step.

The option for further appeals was denied earlier this month by the state’s Appellate Court. The Costanzo family, of 33 Wilford Ave., initially filed an appeal in February 2016 in New Haven state Superior Court to reverse the decision of the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission regarding approval of Atlantic Wharf.  That appeal was dismissed in January 2017 by Superior Court Judge Angela Robinson who issued a 13-page decision. The judge said that “the substantial evidence” in the record “does not support any of the plaintiff’s three claims raised on appeal.”

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Should the RTM Decide the Site of Parkside Village?

by marcia chambers | Apr 25, 2017 7:28 am

Marcia Chambers Photo A group of Democratic Representative Town Meeting (RTM) members rose as one at this month’s RTM meeting to denounce the make-up, legality and the reach of a special RTM sub-committee set up to decide if the Parkside Village affordable housing project will be built at the former site of the Branford Hills Elementary School (pictured above).

The uproar about the RTM sub-committee and its purpose came after RTM Moderator Dennis Flanagan (R-5th) appointed Ray Ingraham (R-5th), RTM Republican majority leader, as chair of the sub-committee. Both Ingraham and Flanagan represent the Fifth District where Parkside Village has been located since the 1970s. The 30-member RTM consists of 19 Republicans and 11 Democrats, representing seven districts.

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