Letter: Kim Rose argues for affordable units at new development

(Editor’s Note: State Rep. Kim Rose sent the following letter to Milford’s Planning and Zoning Board, with a copy to the Milford Mirror.)

Dear Honorable Members of the Planning and Zoning Board:

I am writing you today regarding the meeting of the Planning and Zoning Board that took place [May 16] regarding an application from Smith Brothers for a proposed development on the Post Road.

I am a former vice chairman of the Planning and Zoning Board and have been the elected state representative in the 118th District, serving my fourth term. I have been the House vice-chair of the Housing Committee for four years.

During my term in Hartford I have continued to fight for changes to the Affordable Housing SS8-30g. I have spent hundreds of thousands of hours on this issue — to find ways in which to offer relief to Milford thourgh a statute change. During that process I have received strong protest from the DOH Commissioner, Governor Malloy's office, my colleagues and advocates for affordable housing.

When I, my colleagues and Yvonne Klein, the commissioner of the DOH, watch meetings such as the one that went on last night we feel that we are losing an uphill battle.

There are many ways in which you as a board and as a City Planning Department can protect our residents from predatory developers while encouraging the continued building of affordable housing in Milford.

I heard incorrect statements, and threats by the developers Attorney at last night's hearing.  

It is our intent to run a bill today that will offer Milford relief today. However, when I hear misinformation and threatening statements from the developer's attorney, it makes my job that much harder, if not impossible.

With the bill that we have finally been able to negotiate, Milford may be able to reach a moratorium very soon. However, it is this city's job to continue to build affordable housing during a moratorium. If you allow this application to move forward without adding affordable housing components it will be a disservice to the residents of Milford.

It is your job to encourage the development of affordable housing units so that we can continue to reach our minimum requirement as set forth in SS8-30g.  

This should and could be done during the planning process, before an application reaches your board for consideration. It can and should be accomplished with smart planning and negotiations with the developer. Your purview is to ensure once an application is presented that you protect the neighbors’ interest in directing the applicant to provide proper fencing, lighting, landscape, sidewalks, etc.  It is your job to ensure that the neighboring properties are not negatively affected by the development, such as the current mess on Meadowside Road.  

Once again, it is my sincere hope that you will work with the planning office to follow the law and demand that affordable units be included within this development.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss this with me, or Yvonne Klein we will be more than happy to arrange a meeting.

Kim Rose