Friday, May 14, 2021


In Desperate Need of a Town Planner

I am grateful to all residents that participated in the public hearing at the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting held Jan. 6. The commission denied the zoning application for a text change that would have changed the R-1 zone to a Planned Development District with a design to build 18, 1-bedroom units in 0.56 acres at 47-59-63 Coe Avenue. I thank the commission members for being attentive and receptive to the large turnout of the public.

Using existing zoning regulations along with the Plan of Conversation and Development, neighbors expressed their concerns to the commission members. One resident, Niki Whitehead, raised the bar on public comment by providing a depiction of the units onto a Google map to scale and provided impeccable written analysis. Patrick Rowland provided written correspondence to show that the engineering drawings were not in line with zoning codes. Maria Fatima-Ward initiated a public petition that was submitted as part of the record.

This meeting proved that the town of East Haven is in desperate need of a town planner who can work with the mayor, administration, economic development, and engineering department to make a vision and a five-year capital improvement plan in line with fiscal responsibilities. It is vital to have regulatory and statutory knowledge and case experience to seize opportunities to better East Haven.

The upcoming state legislative agenda will include multiple debates on affordable housing, zoning, and development. Our investment in a town planner will guide thoughtful growth and inspire more residents to be civically involved in important conversations.

Lorena Venegas
East Haven