Letter To The Editor: Center School
By: Kathleen Callahan
Stratford Democratic Town Committee Chair
I support and respect all our Democratic Town Councilors for their ongoing efforts and votes, with special appreciation to Kaitlyn Shake and her work with her constituents in the district on the future of the town-owned Center School property over the past year.
The density of the housing proposals and the additional parking requirements were wholly inappropriate and would cause additional traffic and safety concerns. It has been consistently, and at times fiercely, opposed by those who live in the neighborhood and are protecting something they are certain should not be lost.
Our party believes in economic development and growth that improves our quality of life; access to affordable housing of various densities across the residents’ lifespan; and the value of the wisdom and experiences of those living the issues up for debate.
Disappointingly, these were not all considered when the Council voted to sell the town property.
None of the housing is affordable. Count Danchula will save us—no worries. She’s got her spear, shield, and a windmill with her name on it in Hartford.
Yes, the Democratic Town Councilors, especially Ms. Shake, deserve much praise for their steadfast representation of the wishes of Stratford citizens. The sale of Center School Property to a developer for construction of a huge apartment complex in our Town Center, bordering on the Historic District, and the ensuing traffic problems will affect our whole community. Many alternatives were suggested by the public: a park with a playground, single story senior housing, tennis courts, and just leaving it as a supplement to our dwindling green space. The public DOES NOT WANT ANOTHER HUGE APARTMENT COMPLEX in the Town Center and all of the ensuing TRAFFIC. But that is what we will have despite our wishes to the contrary.
Thanks to the Stratford Democratic Town Committee and our Democratic Town Representatives for representing the public in this issue. Very sad that the rest of the Council did not.
Yup, another snatch of defeat for Stratford residents from the jaws of victory. I fail to see why the town feels the need for a HUGE amount of new, underground parking for the Board of Ed and to provide SIX YEARS of tax abatements to a developer to put in 156 units of housing on 3 acres of land abutting the Historic District and just off Main St. What is needed is COMMUNITY space. Perhaps a small-scale special use development such as Senior housing can coexist with a COMMUNITY space and still leave a REASONABLE amount of parking (above ground which is affordable and maintainable) for the residents, visitors and BOE. Such potential with this site, such a TRAVESTY the way Chris Pia and the representatives that voted for this proposal COMPLETELY DISREGARDED PUBLIC SENTIMENT (expressed at the July Council meeting by person after person (myself included) and then tabled the proposal amidst the opposition only to SLIDE THIS IN AT THE LAST MINUTE NOW DURING HOLIDAY SEASON FOR A VOTE.
THESE COUNCIL MEMBERS DO NOT REPRESENT OUR INTERESTS. I will leave it to each of you to draw your own conclusion about whose interests they DO represent.