Thursday, April 25, 2024

Center School – More Opposition, Lack of Response from Town

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Opinion

By Karen Burke and Melissa Fahey

Not much is keeping us in Stratford anymore. We can move to surrounding waterfront towns with lower taxes, more appealing businesses, and the fortitude to preserve historic neighborhoods.

The decision to sell the Center School property to a private developer (with a six-year tax abatement to build an enormous apartment complex with an underground parking lot) lacks fortitude and vision.

After years of attending Town Hall-sponsored meetings guised under the pretense of wanting to hear the neighborhood’s and taxpayers’ concerns, plus receiving a 600+ signed petition against the decision, the majority of the Town Council ignored our wishes.

Unfortunately, our little historic New England town nestled by the Housatonic River is disappearing. The shortsighted decision chips away at Stratford’s few assets. It continues the development of an apartment fortress surrounding and encroaching on the Historic District and leaves our neighborhood without a public school and playground.

We begged for a traffic study yet received none. The enclave of additional traffic spilling onto East Broadway (a no-truck, residential road with limited off-street parking in the Historic District) will further congest an already overburdened Main Street. The words “blinders,” “dangerous,” “inconsiderate and “irresponsible” come to mind.

As we consider packing our bags and moving on, we are ashamed of and disappointed by our representatives for not honoring our voices, protecting our property (many of us live in nationally registered homes), and preserving our town’s integrity.

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