Letter — We need more time and answers
To the editor:
The planned 260-unit apartment complex is a town altering proposal. I read the first selectman’s statement last week regarding this proposal. Looking at the agenda for Wednesday night’s public hearing:
1) The proposal is over 600 pages long and you only had 1 week to look at it. Doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you’re on, all I’m suggesting is more than a week might be appropriate? Why the rush to push this through in July? How about giving us some time to go through the proposal and allow the owners/developers time to conduct their information sessions?
2) The first selectman ought to tell the people straight up yes or no on whether she is in favor or against the proposal as submitted and why. I didn’t see that anywhere.
3) Are any of these units going to be deed restricted as affordable housing? If not, you just set us back another 260 units on an already difficult State Statute 8-30(g) requirement (and further emboldened continuous zone-busting. ) If you’re really trying to help the seniors and millennials the entire complex should be deed restricted affordable.
4) From the first selectman’s statement “The new zone was fashioned after best practices for the sustainability and transformation of malls across the country.” Do you really care about a mall in Idaho, California or Michigan? Shouldn’t it be for “the best interests of Trumbull?”
5) It is more appropriate to allow the public to attend and voice their opinions rather than a Zoom meeting. We can utilize space suitable for social distancing like THS gymnasium or auditorium, Madison auditorium? We’ve held town meetings in these spaces before.
6) The “positive fiscal impact on Trumbull” and net revenue is estimated to be $910,000. That’s based on quite a few guesstimates and assumptions. Again, $910,000 on a $178.5 million town budget is 0.5% or $60 per household. Do you really want to alter your town this substantially without even a chance to ask your questions for what amounts to $60 on your tax bill the first year?
That $910,000 revenue will likely be eaten up after the first year just in union contractual raises for town and Board of Education employees and benefits. You likely will not reap any benefits in years two and beyond.
7) The developers clearly are incentivized. Why else would they be sending glossy postcards in the mail knowing the rent alone will generate over $6,500,000 per year.
I urge you to call the first selectman, your town council representative and/or members of the P&Z Commission to express your thoughts on both of these matters and to persuade P&Z to give us time to go through a 600-page proposal so we can come to the meeting better informed. We can’t always be penny-wise and pound-foolish and that’s what these really look like to me.
I’ve volunteered for various Boards and Commissions in the past, but things like this make me want to consider running again. Maybe first selectman, town treasurer, or Planning and Zoning?