Parkside Village Application Abruptly Withdrawn

by Diana Stricker | Oct 10, 2016 7:00 am

Diana Stricker Photo Doug Denes, chairman of Branford’s Housing Authority, said he was “absolutely dumbfounded that we are not receiving accolades” for a project to replace the dilapidated Parkside Village low-income housing.

Then, in an unexpected move, Denes withdrew the application at Thursday’s Planning and Zoning (P&Z) hearing just as the developers from Beacon Communities LLC were ready to present revised plans. The original plans met with questions from neighbors and town staff last month. The developers were hoping for approval of both a Planned Development District (PDD) and site plans by early November to meet an annual deadline for federal funding applications.

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Harrison House Honors Contributors

by Sally E. Bahner | Oct 4, 2016 7:41 am

Sally E. Bahner Photo It was a garden party… in the lovingly maintained gardens of the Harrison House, Branford’s own historic treasure.

The 1724 Harrison House can truly be called Branford’s own since the Branford Historical Society successfully raised the funds in just one year for its purchase from Historic New England (formerly the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities).

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Parkside Village Project Downsized

by Diana Stricker | Oct 3, 2016 7:00 am

With Permission The developer seeking to rebuild Parkside Village I, which houses low-income seniors, has downsized the project after complaints that the proposed building was too large for the site.

“We’re really trying in good faith to find a solution,” said Dara Kovel, president of Beacon Communities LLC of Boston.  Beacon is working with Branford’s Housing Authority on the project.

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Parkside Village Zoning Changes Face Obstacles

by marcia chambers | Sep 21, 2016 8:10 am

With Permission More than 100 neighbors, some respectful, some rude, challenged plans to redevelop Parkside Village 1 last week, saying a massive new building 40 feet high was out of sync with the neighborhood both in scale and design.

Dissent against the proposed plan to redevelop the low-income senior housing project came not only from a well-organized group of neighbors, but from a few Planning & Zoning commissioners as well as by Harry Smith, the town planner. Smith seemed disheartened by the scale and scope of the proposed changes, which requires that Parkside 1 buildings be demolished and rebuilt. He said the proposed new housing was “more akin to a commercial building.”

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P&Z Consensus: Deny Pawson Park Project

by marcia chambers | Sep 16, 2016 1:00 pm

Marcia Chambers Photo The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) won’t vote on a small affordable housing project on what is termed an “unbuildable lot” in Pawson Park until its next meeting, but the commissioners expressed concern and disapproval about the project last night.

The half-acre property at 239 Pawson Road is located in a flood plain, and contains tidal wetlands and an easement to an adjacent 20 acres of state-owned open-space property.

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Rising Seas, Tidal Wetlands and Affordable Housing?

by Diana Stricker | Sep 8, 2016 6:59 am

Diana Stricker Photo The Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission has two months to discuss a request to build affordable housing on what has been termed an “unbuildable” lot on Branford’s shoreline. The half-acre property is located in a flood plain, and contains tidal wetlands and an easement to an adjacent 20 acres of state-owned open-space property.

“We have time,” said Chairman Charles Andres following the close of the public hearing last week.  Andres said the commission needs to discuss and review all the documents and testimony before making a decision.  “This is something that I think we should take very carefully … and discuss it thoroughly,” he said.

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ZBA Rejects Controversial Shoreline Home

by Diana Stricker | Aug 17, 2016 1:30 pm | Comments (2)

Diana Stricker Photo A Middletown man showed Branford’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) photos of the half-acre lot where he hoped to build a shoreline home, but the board denied his requests for variances, saying he knew when he bought the land last year it was not a buildable lot.

Diana Stricker Photo The ZBA voted unanimously to deny the variances after a two-hour public hearing Tuesday night that attracted about 50 people. The previous owner‘s request for variances was denied in January 2015.

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P&Z Approves 6 Month Moratorium on Oversized Duplexes

by Diana Stricker | Aug 2, 2016 7:33 am

Diana Stricker Photo There will be a six month moratorium on new applications for duplexes and multi-family homes in R-1 zones, following a unanimous vote by the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission last week.

Town Planner Harry Smith, pictured above, pointed out the R-1 zones which are located in areas of Branford Hills, the Town Center, and a small portion of lots off Brushy Plain Road.

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Pawson Neighbors Protest Housing Plan at P&Z Hearing

by Diana Stricker | Jul 25, 2016 7:00 am

Diana Stricker Photo Pawson Road neighbors say it’s wrong to build multi-family homes, under the guise of affordable housing, on a half-acre property that is prone to coastal flooding. They also object to the owner’s alternate request to build a single- family home on the site, which has been deemed an unbuildable lot.

About 90 people crowded into the meeting room Thursday at the Canoe Brook Senior Center for a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission. They applauded State Rep. Lonnie Reed, (D-Branford) when she said similar situations are happening elsewhere in the state and efforts are underway to enact legislation to clarify the state’s affordable housing act.

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