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Residents Turn Out To Protest Planned South Main Street Development

July 12, 2011 by John Rook

Developer Paul Bowman wants to revamp one historic building, reconstruct another, and turn an unused area off of South Main Street into a large mixed use development that would include retail, restaurant, residential, and office space.
On Monday night, residents in the immediate area said not so fast.
Council Chambers at Town Hall was filled for the regularly scheduled meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission, as members planned to finish its public hearing on the proposed project. According to representatives for Bowman, the development would include the refurbishment of the Keeler House on South Main Street, the construction of another building that would be a near replica of the recently torn down Keeler Stove Shop, situated right next door, and an office building and six condominiums to the rear of the property. If or when completed, the new development would reportedly be home to a restaurant, retail shops, and apartments in addition to the office building and condominiums.
However, on Monday night, residents of the Old Towne Condominium Association presented the PZC with a petition, signed by 86 residents representing 71 out of 122 units, opposing the project. According to several residents who spoke, the main concern deals with traffic, and how an increase along Old Towne Road, a private street used by condominium residents to enter and exit their complex, would present potentially dangerous situations and change their quality of life.
An attorney for the Old Towne Condominium Association, Ronald Barba from Hamden, stated that he, along with the Association's Board, had met with Bowman and his representatives to hash out many of the concerns being addressed by residents, and that he believed there could be an understanding reached. Barba suggested that many residents were not privy to the issues discussed at that meeting, and that a meeting of the entire Association was planned for early next week to address many of the issues being presented to the PZC.
The public hearing was continued until after the Association's meeting, to July 25.
For the full story, see this Thursday's Cheshire Herald.

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