Letter: Spirit of affordable housing lost

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor:

The spirit of affordable housing in Connecticut with statute 8-30G has been lost. No one argues that there must be affordable housing throughout the state for seniors and low income families.  What is wrong is manipulation of Statute 8-30G which allows developers to ask the courts to override a local zoning decision when the zoning board feels it is not in the best interest of the community to develop the site. This destroys the spirit of affordable housing.

The developer is not considering the plight of affordable housing need but placing project profit above all else when they have a local zoning board decision reversed with 8-30G.

I was born and raised in Milford and have practiced in this community for 44 years. I understand that high housing costs throughout Connecticut have caused a need to help individuals and close the affordable housing gap.

It should be the local towns and their zoning boards to decide where this housing is best situated. This would stop developers from freely lining their pockets with profit by using a court agreement to place housing where zoning boards do not want it.

A current example in Milford is the recent developer petition to create seven single family homes in back of two existing single family homes at 214-224 Seaside Avenue. In Milford, Seaside Avenue is the road where the entrance to Milford Hospital’s Emergency room is found. It has a 25 mph speed limit but the common speed of cars on this road is 45-50 mph. The traffic is heavy and these seven units could add 100 to 125 daily entrances and exits from their driveway openings onto Seaside Avenue. Children’s safety, which is presently at risk from accident or motor vehicle injury, will be an increased concern in exponential numbers. Emergency room ambulances and paramedic vehicles will be impeded by this increased traffic. Joggers and bicyclers will also face added risk of injury or death from high traffic and speed.

Problems with fire vehicles being able to access seven single family homes from narrow driveways is another serious threat to all homes in the area.

There is a public hearing on this proposal at Planning and Zoning -100 River St City Hall Auditorium on Tuesday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m.  This is the time to stand up for what is right and tell the Milford Planning and Zoning Board that the developer must be stopped on grounds of public safety.

The children of Milford are its legacy. The Milford P&Z must stop this ridiculous exploitation of Milford.

I call upon all state legislators for Milford to be present and also stand up against development that will place safety second and say no to this dangerous type of development. If 8-30G is invoked, Mayor Blake and legislators should meet with Governor Malloy and show him that a reversal is essential for public safety.

I am in favor of affordable housing in areas of each community where it makes sense. Come to the meeting and help the P&Z Board make a decision to reject the development of 214-224 Seaside Avenue and restore safety to an area which already is plagued with high traffic and speeding.

Dr. Don DeForge


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2 thoughts on “Letter: Spirit of affordable housing lost”

  1. Great points made, yet also missing two salient points that torpedo the spirit of the post.

    One, many people have turned out many times to encourage P&Z to vote down many proposals. Where people DO need to turn out is in front of our representatives up in Hartford. That is where the 8-30g issue needs to be addressed, because all the local proposals that get turned down subsequently get overturned in court. That ends up costing us taxpayers more money in futile legal actions. So you can’t blame the P&Z entirely. We need Hartford to correct this wrong.

    Second, the reason these P&Z decisions get overturned is because P&Z boards are voting down valid, reasonable proposals. In reality, nobody wants “affordable” housing in their neighborhood because of the issues attached to them — some reasonable, and some only perception. The reality is that these “affordable” options in Milford are not exactly too affordable for many. They’re just affordable compared to Milford’s other high-priced rentals. And in many cases, such as the units near the corner of Gulf Street and Cherry Street, a blighted property was sitting there. I’m willing to bet that the revenue delivered to the community from the residents of the new units outweighs the uselessness of a dilapidated house.

  2. REALITY: When you buy a house to settle down in and pick a neighborhood that is quiet and attractive you expect it to stay that way. PERIOD. These developers come in and rape small portions of properties and crowd up nice neighborhoods in order to line their pockets. That is the reality of it. PERIOD. Warning to all house hunting individuals, look around at your street before buying. If there is a field with high grass – WATCH OUT!!!

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