To the Editor:
As a long time Ford Street resident I am opposed to Colonial Toyota’s request for a zone change at 449 Boston Post Road. Keeping the zone residential ensures a separation between the commercial zone and the residents. If the zone change was approved then the residents of Ford, Gunn and Peck streets could literally be facing commercial businesses directly across the street. If you go to Locust Street and Orange Avenue, you can see exactly what I mean. Residents there can see directly across the street such business as Hooters, Bella Napoli and the M&M Market. There is no buffer there.
At the board meeting on August 19, residents stood up and spoke out against the zone change citing concerns such as safety, traffic and a right to live in peace. Resident, Mr. Obert, expressed it best, “there is limited land left in Milford for single-family homes, and this plan would further reduce that available land.”
City Planner David B. Sulkis said that zone change includes an amendment which says the buffer zone would last in perpetuity. But as Mr. Obert stated, who would enforce this? The city? Right now it takes weeks for the city to look into complaints of zoning violations. The city has allowed business to run roughshod over resident’s rights for far too long. Also, Mr. Sukis said that moving the residential/commercial zone line into the property is not the norm.
The line is usually the center of the road. But zoning rules are not set in stone. If they were, applicants would not apply for variances, which are usually approved.
We the residents of Ford, Gunn and Peck Street do not want to, nor can we stop progress. Businesses should grow. But, not to the point of interfering with residential life. There must be a balance. And the city must find ways to achieve this balance. They can do this by approving Colonial Toyota’s plan but keeping the buffer as a residential zone.