Preliminary drawing ignites war of words
Town leaders clashed this week over a medical building that may never even be proposed on lower Main Street.
First Selectman Tim Herbst recently released an artist’s rendering of a medical building and stated that the building exemplified the consequences of “very bad decision making by the majority party on the Planning and Zoning Commission.”
Herbst said Zoning Commission Democrats made “sloppy and off-the-cuff” changes to the zoning regulations, endangering the residential character of the area, and all of Trumbull, calling the proposal the “nose of the camel under the tent.”
Specifically, Herbst blamed commission Chairman Fred Garrity, saying Garrity “talks a lot about public input, yet his actions on a party line vote involving a controversial zone change clearly show that he does not have the interests of residents at heart. As chairman, he and he alone is responsible for pushing this controversial zone change through the commission.”
Garrity called Herbst’s statement an attempt to grab the spotlight.
“There are no applications for Lower Main Street before the Planning and Zoning Commission,” Garrity said. “Mr. Herbst is lying and dangerously misleading the public.”
The drawing Herbst released is a preliminary draft intended to begin a dialogue between the developer and staff, Garrity said. Ultimately any building would have to meet the requirements of the zone, including having a residential appearance, before the commission approved it, he said.
By releasing the drawing, with alarming and inflammatory statements, Garrity said, Herbst was endangering the town’s ability to work with developers in the future.
“This may be his most dangerous and egregious action to date,” Garrity said. Developers could potentially bypass Trumbull if they know unfinished working drafts could be used as fodder for political feuds, he said.