Court Asked to Reverse P&Z Denial of Parkside Redevelopment

by marcia chambers | Jun 11, 2018 7:28 am

File PhotoThe town’s Housing Authority and a developer hired to redevelop Parkside Village have asked a Superior Court judge to reverse a Planning & Zoning denial of the project, declaring a protest petition by neighbors does not apply to the Affordable Housing Act. And, they added, the town’s attorneys knew that or should have known that when they advocated on their behalf.

In January, the Parkside Village 1 affordable housing project was defeated at a special Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission meeting when one aspect of the proposal failed to gain a “super majority” vote. Although the P&Z voted 3-2 in favor of the Parkside project, one of the three applications — a zoning map change —did not get a super majority vote of 4-1. They said that meant the entire project failed.

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Youth Faces Felonies for Crashing Stolen Car into Cruiser

by marcia chambers | Apr 25, 2018 9:16 am

A 19-year-old from Bridgeport who was arrested last week along with four juveniles was driving a stolen car in Pine Orchard when it crashed into a police cruiser. He now faces eight felony charges in Superior Court in New Haven, court records show.

Patrick P. Geyer, 19, of 728 Arctic St., Bridgeport, along with four male juveniles were in a car stolen in Stamford when it crashed into a police cruiser operated by Officer John Abely at about 9:45 p.m. on April 6. Abely was subsequently placed on light duty. He was not seriously injured. The police vehicle was damaged.

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BOE Admits School District Failed to Conduct Regular Fire Drills

by Sally E. Bahner | Apr 24, 2018 8:16 am | Comments (1)

Sally E. Bahner PhotoBoard of Education (BOE) Chair Michael Krause admitted last week that the BOE failed to monitor the absence of fire and safety drills in the Branford public school system for years. This will now change.

At a meeting of the BOE’s Communications Committee earlier this month, Krause updated parents and teachers on school safety issues that have arisen in the aftermath of the shootings at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in February.

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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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Students, Parents Voice School Security Concerns

by Sally E. Bahner | Mar 10, 2018 9:09 am | Comments (1)

Sally E. Bahner PhotoLocal school district and state policy require that fire drills be held at least once each month in each school building and reported to the superintendent’s office. Fire drill procedure is to be used in case of a bomb threat. All students, teachers, and employees are required to leave the building.

But fire drills are not a part of life in the Branford school district.

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Kennedy Won’t Seek Re-Election; To Focus on Disability Rights

by marcia chambers | Feb 28, 2018 10:28 pm | Comments (1)

File PhotoSaying his top priority must now be the fight to preserve the civil rights of the nation’s disabled, Democratic State Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr., announced last night he will not seek a third term this year in the Connecticut State Senate.

Earlier this year Kennedy had been seen as a potential gubernatorial candidate until he withdrew his name from that pool, as well.

Kennedy, who lives in Branford with his wife, Kiki and their two children, is a disability survivor who lost his leg to bone cancer when he was 12. He was elected chairman of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in June.  He has described his organization as the “foremost civil rights and public policy organization representing a whole cohort of people with disabilities across our country.” 

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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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Parent and Son Sue Branford School Officials

by marcia chambers | Feb 12, 2018 1:15 pm | Comments (2)

File PhotoTwo Branford teachers along with top school officials have been sued for negligence after a fifth grade teacher encouraged students in his class to end their friendships with a mentally challenged 11-year-old boy, saying the boy was a “troubled individual to be avoided.”

A 15-page civil complaint filed in September in New Haven Superior Court states the classroom exchange took place last May, and was between Peter Montecalvo, a fifth grade language arts and social studies teacher at Walsh Intermediate School, and the students in his class. The disabled boy was not in the classroom at the time because he was receiving other instruction, the complaint said. While not addressing the boy directly, the teacher provided information to his classmates that led them to reject and shun him, the complaint says. 

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