Rain Doesn’t Dampen 33rd Annual Festival

by Bill O'Brien | Jun 22, 2017 8:20 am

Bill O'Brien Photo Although the weather wasn’t perfect, thousands still flocked to the Town Green on Saturday and Sunday to be part of the 33rd Annual Branford Festival on the Town Green.

Bill O'Brien Photo “We were all disappointed that we had to cancel the entertainment on Friday,” said chairperson Camille Linke (pictured.) “Residents were looking forward to seeing the Bon Jovi Tribute band and enjoying the great variety of food being offered by our vendors along the food court.”

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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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RTM Approves Limited Parking Plan for Legacy Theatre Neighbors

by marcia chambers | Jun 16, 2017 9:46 am | Comments (1)

Marcia Chambers Photo The Representative Town Meeting (RTM) agreed Wednesday to allow limited special resident parking on a public road at certain times and for certain months as part of a four-way legal agreement that is expected to enable the Legacy Theatre to finally open its doors. 

Despite a last minute development that nearly derailed an agreement that took several years to work out, the RTM, in a 21-1 bi-partisan vote, overwhelmingly approved the agreement. The parties include the Legacy Theatre, the town of Branford, the Stony Creek Association (SCA), and a separate group of neighbors who live adjacent to the theater on Thimble Islands Road.

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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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Strong Turnout on How To Connect Train Station to Neighborhoods

by Diana Stricker | May 30, 2017 7:33 am | Comments (1)

TOD Photo Sidewalks, directional signs and a trolley bus would help connect the Shoreline East Train Station to surrounding neighborhoods. Those were some basic ideas discussed at a recent public workshop for the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) study. More complex ideas include the possibility of re-development and new zoning regulations.

The TOD team is studying the half-mile radius around the newly expanded Shoreline East Train Station, an area that includes the riverfront.

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BOS Acts on Community House Parking

by Diana Stricker | May 22, 2017 7:06 am | Comments (2)

File Photo The Board of Selectmen (BOS) unanimously approved buying a house and a vacant lot next to the Community House to provide additional parking for the proposed multi-million dollar expansion and renovation. The BOS also unanimously approved the Department of Recreation to manage and maintain the former Branford Hills School property.

The house, located on a .16 acre lot at 26 Church St.; and the adjacent .28 acre vacant lot at 28 Church St., are both owned by Anne Szeligowski. The lots are next to the Community House, which is slated for a major renovation as a recreation/senior center.

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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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Sen.Chris Murphy Drops In on Local Biotech Firm

by Sally E. Bahner | Apr 24, 2017 8:37 am

Sally E. Bahner Photo Given its location along the I-95 corridor, proximity to outstanding universities, and abundant office space, Branford has become a magnet for the growing biotech industry.

Case in point is Mount Sinai Genomics Research Center, which moved three years ago into a facility previously occupied by 454 Life Sciences and employs approximately 50 people.

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