The following statement was sent to the Valley Indy Tuesday (Nov. 28) by Caitlin Augusta of Save Our Shelton:
Save Our Shelton is opposed to the proposed zone change from Light Industrial to Planned Development District for Planning and Zoning application #17-18 at 801 Bridgeport Avenue at the former United Illuminating property. Our opposition is based on the following factors.
1. While we appreciate the idea of utilizing existing buildings and existing building footprints, we are opposed to a shortsighted plan of development for the city that converts all Shelton’s Light Industrial parcels of land into mixed use and retail. Light Industrial usage provides better paying jobs than retail. Industrial has the benefit of attracting not only businesses but also well paid workers who want to live in Shelton and contribute to our community.
3. We are concerned, if not alarmed at the number of hotels, restaurants, and retail strip malls on Bridgeport Avenue. Yes, Bridgeport Avenue was zoned for development but not development with such a frightening amount of repetitive retail industries. There is one new hotel already approved on Bridgeport Avenue. Is another hotel needed? There are several new restaurants already under construction on Bridgeport Avenue. Are three more needed? There is a retail strip mall under construction at the corner of Bridgeport Avenue and Old Stratford Road and the strip mall at Big Y is just completed. Why is more retail space needed? Given the rise of online shopping and the retail clientele Shelton currently can secure, the proposed retail establishments may not weather a changing retail economy, doing more harm than good to Shelton’s long term economic viability.
4. Traffic is a current problem in Shelton. The number of businesses proposed on the 19 acre UI parcel will guarantee traffic problems in that section of Bridgeport Avenue. Traffic lights will be added and timing intervals will increase as will commute time. Residents already avoid Bridgeport Avenue at peak times, and concomitant problems will create a negative impact on people who seek to travel and do business in those areas. It is poor stewardship to clog Bridgeport Avenue beyond what it can reasonably withstand. Never, in the rush to approve a PDD, is any consideration given to funding more police officers or more fire equipment as new businesses are added.
5. All of these concerns come together to form one conclusion. Residents of Shelton do not wish Bridgeport Avenue to be developed to resemble the Milford/Orange Post Road. In this instance, as in many others, the Planned Development District designation provides few benefits to residents and harms their quality of life. We encourage Planning & Zoning to rethink the PDD designation and place a moratorium on PDDs until more narrow guidelines for its use and benefits can be drafted.
Therefore, Save Our Shelton opposes the Planned Development District application #17-18 at 801 Bridgeport Avenue
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