Ducks to Reside on Unbuildable River Lot

by Diana Stricker | Apr 21, 2018 8:31 am | Comments (1)

Ducks and other wildlife are apparently the only ones who can make their homes on an “unbuildable” lot along the Branford River. A settlement has been reached between the neighbors and the property owner, who filed lawsuits when his attempts to build on the half-acre lot were denied by town boards.

Patricia and Stephen Small (pictured below), who have fought development on the adjacent lot for more than two years, attended a Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission meeting Thursday night when a unanimous vote was taken in support of the settlement.

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P&Z Raises Questions about Proposed Housing Development

by Diana Stricker | Mar 23, 2018 8:51 am | Comments (3)

Diana Stricker PhotoThe Giordano family, who own Branford Building Supplies Inc., is considering the possibility of creating a residential Planned Development District (PDD) off Ark Road near the town-owned Tabor property.

The tentative proposal calls for 14 single-family homes on the site, which is off Ark Road at the end of Buckley Road, which is a private road.
The proposed PDD would include 9.46 acres, but only about 5.8 acres would be used for development because of tidal wetlands and other issues.

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Developer, Housing Authority Optimistic About Appeal

by Diana Stricker | Feb 21, 2018 10:02 am

File PhotoThe developers of the Parkside Village housing proposal are optimistic that their legal appeal filed Tuesday will eventually lead to construction of the long-awaited affordable housing project.

Branford’s Housing Authority and its developers, Beacon Communities LLC of Boston, are challenging the legality of a recent decision by the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission which denied the project.

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Housing Authority, Developer Cite Bias in P&Z Parkside Decision

by Marcia Chambers & Diana Stricker | Feb 20, 2018 2:17 pm | Comments (1)

The town’s Housing Authority and Beacon Communities, LLC. , the developer hired to rebuild the dilapidated Parkside housing project on S. Montowese Street,  today asked a Superior Court judge to reverse a January decision by the Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Commission denying the Parkside Village 1 application.

Lead attorney Tim Hollister, an expert in the state’s affordable housing law, had a 14- page appeal served on the Town Clerk this afternoon. Hollister is a partner in the law firm of Shipman & Goodwin in Hartford. The appeal will come before the New Haven Superior Court on March 20. Hollister represents the developer. Anika Lemar, who oversees the Yale Law School’s Community and Economic Development Clinic (“CED”) represents the Housing Authority. One of their first actions will be to ask the judge to transfer the case to the land use court in Hartford.

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Parkside Village Misses the Mark; Court Action Expected

by Diana Stricker | Jan 26, 2018 5:21 pm | Comments (1)

Diana Stricker PhotoThe Parkside Village 1 affordable housing project was defeated at a special Planning and Zoning (P&Z) meeting Thursday when one aspect of the proposal failed to gain a “super majority” vote.

Prior to the vote, the attorney for the developers asked that Commissioner Fred Russo recuse himself from voting. Russo said he would not step down, and voted against the proposals.

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P&Z Votes on Parkside Village Thursday

by Diana Stricker | Jan 22, 2018 10:07 am | Comments (1)

Diana Stricker PhotoThe Parkside Village I affordable housing proposal is headed for a vote Thursday, but whatever the outcome, it may end up in court. One member of the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission said he wants to deny the project and challenge it in court because in his view the law is too restrictive. 

The 5-member commission will vote on the Parkside proposal at a special meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. at Fire Headquarters. A resolution to approve the project, with multiple conditions, is expected to be complete by that time.

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Parkside Village Approval Could Be Complicated

by Diana Stricker | Jan 11, 2018 3:31 pm

Beacon CommunitiesThe Parkside Village I proposal could be approved by the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission next week or in early February. However, a simple majority vote may not be enough to approve one of the three applications involved in the project.

At a special meeting Monday night, a majority of the commissioners directed the town planner to draw up resolutions in favor of the Parkside affordable housing project.

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Home Is Lost, But Kitty Is Saved in Branford Fire

by Sally E. Bahner | Dec 28, 2017 9:01 am | Comments (1)

Branford Fire DepartmentA specially designed feline oxygen mask was instrumental in saving the life of a cat caught up in a house fire this week.

Firefighters responded to a heavy fire at 19 Leetes Island Road, Paved Lane Trailer Park, on Tuesday afternoon after the occupant called 911 to report a fire coming from behind the furnace. The occupants were trying to save their three cats but had to leave the house due to heavy smoke.

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“Public Acceptance is Not a Zoning Criteria”

by Diana Stricker | Nov 20, 2017 9:41 am

Diana Stricker PhotoPublic hearings for the Parkside Village 1 affordable housing proposal are nearing completion, and the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission could reach a decision in December or early January.

About 120 people attended the third session of hearings Thursday at the community room at Branford Fire Headquarters. The next session will be Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at the same location.

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“Riffraff” Phobia Emerges At Parkside Hearing

by Diana Stricker | Nov 9, 2017 11:02 am | Comments (9)

Diana Stricker PhotoSome opponents of low-income housing in Branford say the town will no longer be quaint, and the neighborhood will no longer be safe, if poor families are allowed to move into the proposed Parkside Village I apartments.

About 150 people attended the second session of a public hearing conducted by the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission last Thursday night at Fire Headquarters. Neighbors are questioning whether proposed low-income housing on South Montowese Street should be for seniors and people with disabilities; or for people of all ages.

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