Bella Vista Advances

Do seniors really want higher toilets seats in the 399 apartments slated to be created in two new towers at the Bella Vista complex?

That question came up, along with lingering concerns about parking plans and storm water drainage. In the end the $150 million proposed project limped forward Monday night as the Board of Aldermen’s Legislation Committee recommended the proposal to the full board.

Allan Appel PhotoFor the last two months lawyers Jim Segaloff and Laura Sklaver (pictured) and staff for Carabetta Enterprises, which owns Bella Vista, have been trying to provide City Plan staff with more detailed information about parking plans, storm drainage, and just what the seniors at Bella Vista truly want by way of amenities.

That incompleteness delayed approval at last month’s Legislation Committee meeting, even though developers were concerned that delays could interfere with their financing deadlines. Read about that here.

At Monday night’s hearing, aldermen continued to feel frustration, especially at still incomplete traffic studies and how close to the ground the developers and management’s ear is about what residents’ preferences are.

That’s where the toilets come in.

Only a handful of residents and Carabetta staffers seem to have contributed answers to a survey submitted with the application for the planned development district, required for the two new towers.

Fair Haven Heights Alderwoman Maureen O’Sullivan Best pointed out another discrepancy: Management has reported that residents don’t want to garden, she said, referring to the report.

She said they do want to garden but there is not enough green space.

“Does the developer listen to the consultant or to the residents?” Hill Alderman Jorge Perez, the committee chair, asked.

“The developer wants to make these people happy, replied Segaloff.

“That’s the right answer,” replied Perez (at right in photo with Quinnipiac Meadows Alderman Gerald Antunes).

Then there was parking. Would enough be provided in the two new towers to relieve the chronic problem of guests, visitors, and vendors not being able to find a spot?

To maintain the proper ratio between slots and people, which is .66, developers suggested that approximately 149 spots would be created in a field on the north side of the development. But that land is yet to be leased from the owner. It wasn’t fully clear if some of it lies outside the PDD area, perhaps even in East Haven.

Alderman Antunes listened to a description of a tiered set of catch basins culminating in a pond with plants to catch any bad stuff from the urban runoff. Although it meets all state and city standards, said project landscape architect David S. Golebiewski, Antunes ofered an amendment requiring that the system be inspected, twice in the first year and then annually after that.

That amendment was added to the City Plan Department’s list of 14 other conditions. The list includes that parking plans satisfactory to the city’s traffic department and to City Plan be approved prior to final site plan. There’s also another shot to improve the overly-massed look of the towers in a peer architecture review. That’s another requirement put off to future dates.

So amended, the committee voted unanimously to adopt the City Plan report and recommend the project move forward to the full Board of Aldermen.

Although it was inappropriate to make it a condition, Chairman Perez added that if in general “there’s a dispute between consultants and tenants, go for the tenant.”

Jim Segaloff: “I agree.”

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posted by: robn on March 15, 2011  10:20am

Cheap doesn’t always have to be ugly and this is an embarrassingly ugly design. I can’t believe that this is being approved.

posted by: edsicle on March 15, 2011  12:07pm

I agree with Robn, another eyesore on the vista of New Haven. Nice to look at does not need to be expensive. What about the traffic? This increased load on Eastern will create another bottleneck for residents.  Is anything planned to change the entrance/exit onto Eastern? Maybe widen it, with turning lanes from the property.  Is this being financed with government funds?  Will the number of registered sex offenders increase in the zipcode?

posted by: Steve B on March 15, 2011  12:16pm

Ugly? It’ll fit right in with the towers that are already there. Investing in good aesthetics would seem like a waste at this point when the new towers will be joining a massive white elephant already there.

posted by: webblog1 on March 15, 2011  12:50pm


It looks like and mirrors 360 State St.The same design city plan and many of you blogs approved.So what’s the complaint about?

posted by: ronburgandy on March 15, 2011  2:39pm


They are both ugly.  I think very few people with any design sense has ever said that 360 state was anything other than a terrible design.  However what makes this extra special super ugly is its even worse proportions, distorted scale from the neighborhood, choice of colors/materials, size of windows, lack of inspired form and absolute lack of creativity.  At least 360 state had a LEED aspect, and it added to the density of downtown and the skyline.  This is just butt ugly and should be torn down before it even gets built. 
You stay classy New Haven.

posted by: natalie on March 15, 2011  2:51pm

I have reached retirement age but can’t afford to stop working.  I have an online business and decided to apply at Bella Vista.  I was surprised when they told me that because I was one person, I could only rent one bedroom.  What’s up with that?  If I can afford two bedrooms, why can’t I rent them?

Also, are seniors on fixed income considered in the projected population of 360 State Street?  I ask because I think I heard that there would be set-asides for Section 8. I am not on Section 8 but I will be collecting social security. I think the location is ideal and personally find them quite attractive.

posted by: edsicle on March 15, 2011  5:54pm

Natalie, unfortunately if you do not have Section 8 now, there is a long, long, long wait for one. So, Belle Vista might be easier to get into.  too bad about the bedrooms, there is government subsidy in there, so rules are rules.

posted by: natalie on March 15, 2011  6:31pm

to edsicle:

I am not applying for Section 8. I just want to know if 360 State is “senior” friendly for those on fixed income.  (I will have social security, a modest retirement and a part-time income for as long as I can work).

posted by: rr on March 16, 2011  1:04am

Thanks for another ugly atrocity, developers! I cringe every time I come home and have to look at the old, concrete Bella Vista, and try to imagine what these hills once looked like. More drivers, more traffic, more towers - are they trying to bury the Heights under more concrete and glass and cheap bldg materials?! Guess so.

posted by: 55and alive on March 16, 2011  7:03pm

Awesome! Maybe the building will have a senior center!