Letter: Resident elaborates on opposition to Seaside Avenue housing

To the Editor:
At the March 1 Planning and Zoning meeting, there was a public hearing to discuss the development of 214-224 Seaside Ave. The developer’s plan is to add seven single residences behind two existing homes on Seaside Avenue.

The hearing was filled to capacity to say “no” to this development. There was not one individual speaking in favor of the development except representatives for the developer. More than 20 residents spoke against this development because of safety issues.

Photography by neighbors showed multiple accidents on Seaside Ave. with tragic endings.

The residents said they supported affordable housing in Milford. They asked the P&Z to select areas where there is no conflict with public safety. There is a major conflict with public safety with the development proposed at 214-224 Seaside Ave. Residents said Seaside Ave. is a speed road and that multiple accidents and motor vehicle arrests are common on this road. A 16 page report of accidents and police stops on Seaside Ave., over the last six years, was presented by Dr. DeForge.

Seaside Ave. is the entrance to Milford Hospital’s emergency room. The nine residences planned on an acre plus of land will interfere with and stress emergency response. There was no clear answer by the developers concerning the inability to bring large fire equipment into the project planned.

Rocco Frank, a past mayoral candidate, spoke against this development and applauded residents who researched and explained the danger of this proposal.

One neighbor called Seaside Ave. Seaside Speedway.

Senator Gayle Slossberg spoke to the Planning and Zoning Board and urged rejection of this development for reasons of safety. She expressed how Milford has been a leader in affordable housing. Senator Slossberg commented on how Milford saved the residents of Ryder’s trailer park years ago when they were being removed from their home. She said affordable housing is important in safe districts. Seaside Ave. is not a safe district.

Former Milford City Historian, Richard Platt, spoke too. He is descended from the original founders of Milford in 1639 and he has been a Milford resident for over 80 years. He said he stood against the development on Seaside Ave. because of safety issues and saw this as another wrong invoking of 8-30G.

Article 8-30G in its inception was a very important measuring stick to allow Affordable Housing to become available if local P&Z was restrictive. What is wrong with 8-30G today is that it has become a vehicle of manipulation. Developers can use 8-30G to tie the hands of P&Z boards in Connecticut. Even when the local P&Z feels a development is not in the best interests of the community to develop a site, developers can use 8-30G to ask the courts to override this zoning board decision.

The 214-224 Seaside Ave. development in the backyard of two existing homes, with the addition of seven backyard cottages, will create a very dangerous condition in an area which is already unsafe.

The P&Z has kept open the discussion and will convene again at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15, at City Hall, to discuss in greater detail the traffic problems on Seaside Ave.

Don DeForge, VMD