Apartments make no ‘cents’ for Trumbull

To the editor:

There has been a lot of talk about apartments within the last few weeks and I’m having trouble understanding how tall buildings could be positive for Trumbull. In terms of aesthetics, I don’t see how this type of housing meshes with the suburban single-family style of homes that dot the landscape of Trumbull. Second, why are they advocating to go up? Is there a great demand for more vertical development? In 2017, this question came up at a debate where current First Selectman Tesoro spoke in favor of raising the maximum allowable height of buildings, by two stories. I don’t think there was a demand then, and I don’t see a demand now. Lastly, are we really gaining net tax revenue from an apartment complex?

In the mid 1990’s, over 300 apartments were built on Old Town Road as part of the Avalon Gates Development. Developers told us the impact to the schools would be minimal. Less than a decade later, Frenchtown Elementary School, the first new elementary school built in decades opened. Enrollment increases made the construction of a sixth elementary school a reality. I don’t know the total number of students that come from Avalon but I can guarantee it was more than the few the developer estimated 25 years ago. This leads me to my last question. Do apartments make “cents” for the Town? I have heard an apartment complex more tax revenue, as there are many units and a lot of taxable square footage. What I have not heard is that tax revenue is offset by the number of children who enter Trumbull Public Schools. It costs somewhere around $15,000 to educate a child per year in the state of Connecticut. If the total number of new students at $15,000 per student who reside at the apartment complex is greater than the total taxable revenue generated by the apartment, then the apartment is costing taxpayers and the development is a net negative.

Apartments, great for the wallets of developers but they don’t make a lot of “cents” for the town.

Liz Parenzan