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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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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Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

by Sally E. Bahner | Apr 13, 2017 9:00 am

Spring cleaning applies to the town as well as your closets! Take a couple hours, pick up a trash bag and join other on the green to spruce up the town. Looking ahead, celebrate Earth Day on the Branford green or with the Rock to Rock ride to benefit the Shoreline Greenway Trail; there are courses for all levels. And, Happy Easter and Happy Passover to those who are observing.

Saturday, April 15

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Blackstone Welcomes $100,000 Community Foundation Matching Grant

by marcia chambers | Mar 31, 2017 8:22 am

Marcia Chambers Photo Earlier this week visitors lined up at the top of the James Blackstone Memorial Library steps, waiting for the library doors to open. Some were headed for a computer. Some came to sign out a book. (Yes, books made of paper remain popular). It was just before 9 a.m. 

Among those waiting in line were Eunice Lasala and Kathleen Fox, members of the board of the Branford Community Foundation who came to mark a special occasion – the donation of a $100,000 matching grant, the foundation’s largest grant ever. It will go toward the library’s $4.8 million renovation and will be distributed over four years. The idea is that the foundation will match all gifts up to $1,000 to support the library’s fund-raising campaign.

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Demolition Permit Sought for Atlantic Wire Factory

by Diana Stricker | Mar 29, 2017 8:17 am | Comments (1)

Diana Stricker Photo The possibility of demolishing the former Atlantic Wire factory on Church Street could become a reality if a demolition permit is approved.

That could spur development of the property as an upscale apartment and commercial complex, if another legal appeal regarding the housing complex does not materialize. The developer has renamed the property Atlantic Wharf.

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Rosa In Absentia

by Sally E. Bahner | Mar 27, 2017 8:30 am | Comments (2)

Sally E. Bahner Photo Rosa DeLauro (D-3rd District) was scheduled to appear at a “happy hour” at the Stony Creek Brewery on Friday. DeLauro didn’t make it, but the event was happy nonetheless since she was still in Washington, caught up in the aftermath of the Republicans’ version of the health care bill, which was pulled at the last minute; there were not enough votes to send the bill to the Senate, where it was sure to come under further fire.

DeLauro and other key Democrats had appeared at a press conference just an hour or so earlier with House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, who said, “Today is a great day for our country – a victory for the American people.”

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New Plans Unveiled for Sterling Ridge Housing Project

by Diana Stricker | Mar 27, 2017 8:00 am

With Permission New plans are being proposed for the Sterling Ridge residential project located in the Canoe Brook Historic District in the heart of Branford. Various owners have attempted to develop the site since 2003, but were stalled by opponents objecting to the project.

The Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission set a public hearing April 20 to discuss modifications to the previously-approved Planned Development District (PDD) and Master Plan. A preliminary sketch shown above depicts one of four proposed duplex buildings. 

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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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Iconic Blackstone Library To Expand

by Diana Stricker | Mar 8, 2017 8:15 am

With Permission The James Blackstone Memorial Library is kicking off a capital campaign to raise funds for a renovation project that will bring the iconic 1896 library into the 21st century.

“It’s an iconic building in our town. It’s beloved,” Library director Karen Jensen said during a press conference Tuesday morning. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t meet the needs of a 21st century library.”

Plans call for a 2,000 square-foot addition on the ground floor, and reconfiguration of many interior spaces throughout the library. The distinctive front entrance and steps will remain the same. 

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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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