Support Local Zoning Rights
The conversion of low-income housing for Branford seniors, veterans, and disabled is very disappointing. Not only is it an offense to the Foote family, which dedicated and donated its land for Branford seniors, but it is also the beginning of the erosion of local zoning laws and control. For the Branford Housing Commission members who have been in charge for many years, they have been seemingly slack in their responsibilities and sole reason for which Branford Housing Authority (BHA) was created: to provide low-income housing for Branford seniors. Now our Branford seniors have to compete with families (not necessarily from Branford) to qualify financially for housing in a town where they contributed socially and financially to the community.
Will there be a need for a BHA? How will this conversion from senior housing to family housing change BHA mission statement??
Allowing out-of-state, low-income developers to force 8-30g and override local zoning laws is a terrible precedent. The neighborhood in the 5th District should not despair; it has done a phenomenal job including the residents of Parkside Village 1 and 2 into the community by hosting picnics, having Christmas parties, and providing rides, household goods, comforting phone calls, and supplies during the COVID pandemic. We will not give up on our neighbors who want and need our continued assistance and prayers. We know we care about our senior residents while the developer was focusing on the brick and mortar. We will continue to monitor the development to ensure Branford residents have the best homes and remain in Branford.
I encourage everyone residing in Branford, to become active in the current conversation to support local zoning decision rights. We can only succeed if we work together and stop outsiders from making zoning decisions in our local community.
Carolyn Sires (R) is a 5th District representative on the RTM.