SHD Hawley, LLC proposes to convert the 99 HawIey Lane Office Park Development to “mixed-use” residential development by constructing 300 one and two-bedroom apartments behind the Big Y in four buildings of which three would be six stories high, with 524 parking spaces and possibly a restaurant. They have requested a zoning regulations amendment to add residential as a permitted use along with other new provisions. The apartments would abut protected inland wetlands identified in the 2013 Stratford Plan of Conservation and Development as part of the proposed Greenspace Network.
The POCD emphasizes balance between residential and industrial/commercial development to “foster economic vitality, while preserving the character of neighborhoods and the community,” to encourage a “dense, mixed-use approach to land development where appropriate” (italics added).
The Planning Commission tabled the request on Feb. 21; its next meeting is March 21. The Zoning Commission deferred the matter to its March 28 meeting with a public hearing at 7 p.m.
Hawley Lane is a major, congested shopping and residential thoroughfare, with considerable traffic throughout the day and evening. At least 20 issues have been identified in letters from neighbors to the Planning Commission, ranging from traffic to environmental impact to required town services such as sewers, public and fire safety as well as impact on schools, roads, water and wetlands. Six-story buildings and greatly increased traffic could impact adversely on neighborhood character and public safety.
I hope Stratford isn’t about development no matter what the consequences. Let’s be sure to exercise our rights as citizens by continuing to contact the Planning and Zoning commissions and other elected officials, and attending all upcoming public meetings to assure open and thorough public discussion before action is taken on the proposed text amendment and new text.