I attended the Planning & Zoning hearing last Wednesday which addressed the large Mill St project. It was very interesting to say the least.
This parcel of land is currently zoned for light industrial use. This means that we could see a warehouse or medium sized manufacturing company bring its business to Shelton. The Iroquois gas pipeline runs directly through it as well as the beloved Paugussett trail, which has been lauded and championed for decades. The grand vision is to re-join the ancient trail with the Housatonic river.
The issue which has now arisen is that the land owners would like the city to change zoning for this parcel to a PDD or a planned development district. This would give potential developers carte blanche in the way of applied usage of the space. Their proposal includes a 9 story high rise apartment building as well as a “downtown feel” shopping area for the potential residents, all spilling out onto Bridgeport Ave.
Don’t worry, the developers are also planning to expand Bridgeport Ave to accommodate all of the new residents and customers, but only between exits 12 and 13.
These developers and their lawyers keep saying that this project will make Shelton lots of money. After hearing them as well as the opposing viewpoints voiced by current neighborhood residents, I am convinced that changing an established zone to accommodate this project will not only ruin a beautiful scenic road and historic trail system but it will forever alter the personality of our fair city. The only real money to be made is for a select few – not Shelton at large. My plea is for the P&Z commission to deny the zone change.
As a business owner in town, I am cognizant of the desire to grow our city. We are in a position logistically which sits perfectly in balance between NY metro and NE country. It very well may have come to a point where we need to re-visit our grand plan and make some changes. But while Shelton is poised to become the next big city in CT, we must ask ourselves- is this what we all want?
I hold a different vision for my Shelton and I have spoken with many residents who feel the same way. We really do not want to be the next Stamford. There are many residents who left cities like that for a reason. What if we actually took some care and built up the culture and historic beauty of Shelton? We have amazing natural resources, a rich cultural history and the potential to become the next tourist mecca of CT.
Droves of people already come to our city for our agricultural gems like Beardsley, Jones and Stone Gardens farms. We have the hotels and restaurants to accommodate tourists up and down Bridgeport Ave. We’re on one of the most historic rivers in the country. Let’s celebrate it! The more people I talk to, the more we agree that it is time to bring the Village back to the Valley – not the bigger Bigger BIGGER! (241)