Curious about the actual plans for the housing development 
proposed for 16 Neck Road in Old Lyme? We have links to both plans below. Take a look, and share your insights.

https://1drv.ms/b/s!AsFtT2rPsiywzW3k4H82oT8dGKFs

https://1drv.ms/b/s!AsFtT2rPsiywzWzhuMy7MUab8LE_

Curious about the actual plans for the housing development
proposed for 16 Neck Road in Old Lyme? We have links to both plans below. Take a look, and share your insights.

1drv.ms/b/s!AsFtT2rPsiywzW3k4H82oT8dGKFs

1drv.ms/b/s!AsFtT2rPsiywzWzhuMy7MUab8LE_
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6 hours ago

Any proposal to develop and reshape the primary entrance for Old Lyme, regardless of intentions, demands real scrutiny and public involvement... 

For us, that starts with getting answers to the 10 questions below prior to the May 14 public hearing at Old Lyme Town Hall. Are there any youd like to add? 

........................... 10 QUESTIONS............................................

1. Location The 16 Neck Road parcel chosen for the Hope Partnership development in Old Lyme is situated in a visually-prominent location at the primary entrance to a historic art community, which provides meaningful context to the National Historic Landmark Florence Griswold House, and which serves as an important hub and gateway for tourist economy in southeastern Connecticut. Can you explain the process which led to this site selection, what criteria were considered, and what other sites were considered for a housing development? Was this site offered or suggested to Hope Partnership, and if so, when, and by who?

2. Buffering The heavily-wooded lot, while not undeveloped, provides a significant visual buffer for visitors arriving from the south, a significant sound buffer for nearby housing, and a potentially-significant sound buffer for the nearby National-Register historic district on Lyme street. What studies and steps are you taking to address year-round potential impacts both visual and aural to the surround community, tourist economy, and nearby National-Register district? How will the portion of wetlands fronting Neck Road constrain or allow for adequate or additional buffering? 

3. Cumulative Impacts and Induced Growth We are deeply concerned that the 16 Neck Road development, as part of a faulty piecemeal planning process, may significantly underestimate potential cumulative impacts, as well as further impacts from induced growth. Has Hope Partnership considered or discussed the 16 Neck Road development in the context of ongoing, proposed and potential improvements and new development along Route 156, and Halls road; the combined potential impacts to traffic safety and congestion; as well as impacts to the need or extent of sewers and other significant new infrastructure in Old Lyme?

4. Additional Costs and Obligations Has Hope Partnership requested or received assurances regarding financial or other one-time or on-going obligations from the Town of Old Lyme, including maintenance, additional infrastructure, or mitigation? If so, please provide a list of this assurances with cost estimates. Will access within the property be on a public or private road?

5. Multi-parcel Plan At a February 13, 2017 Special Meeting of the Old Lyme Planning Commission, Joe Wren, of Indigo Land Design, presented a preliminary proposal for between 16 and 24 units on one of two lots, with no stated plans for the second lot. At the April 12 Open House, Hope Partnership presented a significantly larger proposal for 12 structures and 37 units on two lots. Can you explain why, for the purposes of proposing and planning this project, the development has been parceled in two? Can you explain how and when the planning process expanded to encompass both lots and 37 total units?

6. Affordability Has there been a final decision regarding the proportion, and varieties, of affordable and market-rate units? Please provide a breakdown of estimated rental costs of each variety. Apart from cost, how will market-rate units differ from affordable units? Currently, how many rentals are available in Old Lyme, and at what cost?

7. Accessibility Given a preexisting waiting list for affordable housing in the broader region, how will this affect the opportunity for current Old Lyme residents to find housing in the 16 Neck Road development? Will any preference be given to existing residents of Old Lyme, or to other populations?

8. Ethics and Code of Conduct What is Hope Partnerships code of conduct in terms of transparency, conflict of interest, and for the ethical conduct of its partner organizations, officials and developers?  What does Hope Partnership require from its partners in terms of disclosure, and related financial or commercial interests and benefits derived from Hope Partnership’s projects? To the best of your knowledge has Hope Partnership, and its partners, met these obligations of ethics and conduct? Does Hope Partnership assume any ongoing responsibility for 16 Neck Road, for required infrastructure, vegetation or buffering, after construction has been completed?

9. Further Projects Is Hope Partnership planning or considering other housing developments in Old Lyme, or the surrounding region? Has Hope Partnership considered projects in the beach communities, where previous attempts at multi-family housing have failed to receive zoning approval? How would these previous projects compare in terms of affordability with the proposed Hope Partnership project? How are issues like green space, sprawl, and mixed-use development considered as part of the Partnership’s site-selection process?

10. Accessory Dwellings Old Lyme, like much of the semi-rural region, has a long tradition of off-the-book rented accessory dwellings. Although likely not a sufficient solution to the housing needs of southeastern Connecticut, such rentals do allow lower-income residents to enjoy the benefits of picturesque locations, and historic settings, while paying relatively modest rents. In many cases, however, these rentals are not entirely legal, or compliant with local zoning. Does Hope Partnership have a position or policy to promote, improve, and allow for such rentals, which may supplement more suburban-style developments like 16 Neck Road?

Any proposal to develop and reshape the primary entrance for Old Lyme, regardless of intentions, demands real scrutiny and public involvement...

For us, that starts with getting answers to the 10 questions below prior to the May 14 public hearing at Old Lyme Town Hall. Are there any you'd like to add?

........................... 10 QUESTIONS............................................

1. Location The 16 Neck Road parcel chosen for the Hope Partnership development in Old Lyme is situated in a visually-prominent location at the primary entrance to a historic art community, which provides meaningful context to the National Historic Landmark Florence Griswold House, and which serves as an important hub and gateway for tourist economy in southeastern Connecticut. Can you explain the process which led to this site selection, what criteria were considered, and what other sites were considered for a housing development? Was this site offered or suggested to Hope Partnership, and if so, when, and by who?

2. Buffering The heavily-wooded lot, while not undeveloped, provides a significant visual buffer for visitors arriving from the south, a significant sound buffer for nearby housing, and a potentially-significant sound buffer for the nearby National-Register historic district on Lyme street. What studies and steps are you taking to address year-round potential impacts both visual and aural to the surround community, tourist economy, and nearby National-Register district? How will the portion of wetlands fronting Neck Road constrain or allow for adequate or additional buffering?

3. Cumulative Impacts and Induced Growth We are deeply concerned that the 16 Neck Road development, as part of a faulty piecemeal planning process, may significantly underestimate potential cumulative impacts, as well as further impacts from induced growth. Has Hope Partnership considered or discussed the 16 Neck Road development in the context of ongoing, proposed and potential improvements and new development along Route 156, and Halls road; the combined potential impacts to traffic safety and congestion; as well as impacts to the need or extent of sewers and other significant new infrastructure in Old Lyme?

4. Additional Costs and Obligations Has Hope Partnership requested or received assurances regarding financial or other one-time or on-going obligations from the Town of Old Lyme, including maintenance, additional infrastructure, or mitigation? If so, please provide a list of this assurances with cost estimates. Will access within the property be on a public or private road?

5. Multi-parcel Plan At a February 13, 2017 Special Meeting of the Old Lyme Planning Commission, Joe Wren, of Indigo Land Design, presented a preliminary proposal for between 16 and 24 units on one of two lots, with no stated plans for the second lot. At the April 12 Open House, Hope Partnership presented a significantly larger proposal for 12 structures and 37 units on two lots. Can you explain why, for the purposes of proposing and planning this project, the development has been parceled in two? Can you explain how and when the planning process expanded to encompass both lots and 37 total units?

6. Affordability Has there been a final decision regarding the proportion, and varieties, of affordable and market-rate units? Please provide a breakdown of estimated rental costs of each variety. Apart from cost, how will market-rate units differ from affordable units? Currently, how many rentals are available in Old Lyme, and at what cost?

7. Accessibility Given a preexisting waiting list for affordable housing in the broader region, how will this affect the opportunity for current Old Lyme residents to find housing in the 16 Neck Road development? Will any preference be given to existing residents of Old Lyme, or to other populations?

8. Ethics and Code of Conduct What is Hope Partnership's code of conduct in terms of transparency, conflict of interest, and for the ethical conduct of its partner organizations, officials and developers? What does Hope Partnership require from its partners in terms of disclosure, and related financial or commercial interests and benefits derived from Hope Partnership’s projects? To the best of your knowledge has Hope Partnership, and its partners, met these obligations of ethics and conduct? Does Hope Partnership assume any ongoing responsibility for 16 Neck Road, for required infrastructure, vegetation or buffering, after construction has been completed?

9. Further Projects Is Hope Partnership planning or considering other housing developments in Old Lyme, or the surrounding region? Has Hope Partnership considered projects in the beach communities, where previous attempts at multi-family housing have failed to receive zoning approval? How would these previous projects compare in terms of affordability with the proposed Hope Partnership project? How are issues like green space, sprawl, and mixed-use development considered as part of the Partnership’s site-selection process?

10. Accessory Dwellings Old Lyme, like much of the semi-rural region, has a long tradition of off-the-book rented accessory dwellings. Although likely not a sufficient solution to the housing needs of southeastern Connecticut, such rentals do allow lower-income residents to enjoy the benefits of picturesque locations, and historic settings, while paying relatively modest rents. In many cases, however, these rentals are not entirely legal, or compliant with local zoning. Does Hope Partnership have a position or policy to promote, improve, and allow for such rentals, which may supplement more suburban-style developments like 16 Neck Road?
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1 week ago

Comment on Facebook

I'd like to know when the plans being presented are "final". For example, in the Wetlands meeting Mr Wren stated that this entire project was 100% affordable. This has changed as Hope stated that that was determined to be financially unfeasible. Unfortunately, the meeting minutes reflect a plan that has already changed its scope creating a different picture than originally presented. I was told that the plans presented at OLCC are not "final". When do we see the "final" project so we can make an educated decision about whether we agree or disagree with the project?

How much say do people have to help this pass/stop it? Is it decided by laws/guidlines or by the feelings of people in the community? How can we see the answers once you get them?

This would likely be an add-on to Question #9: With several notable properties in Old Lyme already in disrepair, disuse, or possible abandonment (cf Cherrystones, the eyesore on Shore Road at the top of Hartford Ave, and buildings in Soundview), why are we not looking into ways of repurposing existing properties for affordable housing, instead of building at 16 Neck Road?

I think the location right off 95 is the worst possible option!

Is anyone asking what the cost of buying a home will be? Per yesterday’s Valley Courier HOPE Partnership has plans for 17 apartments over the shops at Spencer’s Corner in Centerbrook. The article does lists the projected cost of those specific apartments.

Joshua Grenier

Excellent questions👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽🌼

At the April 12 Hope Partnership open house, Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder pretty strongly endorsed the 16 Neck Road project as an effective means of heading off less-scrupulous developers from outside of the community from building basically whatever they want in the name of affordable housing. Hope Partnership is based in Old Saybrook, and 16 Neck Road developer is Graybill Properties based in Old Lyme. The underlying reasoning is that until Old Lyme meets a threshold of 10% affordable housing [currently the number is judged to be just over 1.5%], there is little a town can do to block a project without risking a lawsuit. So, our question is this: How far will the 16 Neck Road project go toward meeting the 10% threshold? Is there any clear plan to meet that threshold? And if not, still being shy of 10%, isn't Old Lyme just as vulnerable to another development, with or without the 16 Neck Road project?

SECoast, I thought of another great resource of data that helps to show the needs the community of Old Lyme has... in case you don’t know about ALICE... www.middlesexunitedway.org/ALICE. You can drill down to learn specifics about Old Lyme.

+ View previous comments

FYI to all those who use Shore Line East.

On Tuesday, April 17th, representatives from the DOT will be at all Shore Line East stations during morning peak hours to discuss the upcoming Amtrak track work that will impact service through November and answer any questions.

This is unrelated to the DOT's proposed cuts to Shore Line East, but feel free to ask about that as well.

To read the DOT's press release, please click on the following link: www.ct.gov/dot/cwp/view.asp?A=1373&Q=601632

For the most up-to-date information, Shore Line East customers are urged to check the service website at www.ShoreLineEast.com or call 1-800-255-7433.
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1 week ago

Even a revenue-neutral plan while likely require some sort of changes...

Even a revenue-neutral plan while likely require some sort of changes...I went back through the last 5 years worth of gasoline tax revenue data and produced this graph.

One reason that we are scrambling to boost funding to the CT Transportation fund is due to a 12.36% drop in gas tax revenue witnessed in 2017 that seemingly came out of nowhere.

With a net outgoing migration flow this problem can only get worse as these tax dollars are levied when you fill up at a gas station in CT. Less residents, less potential for revenue.

Another contributing factor is that cars are becoming more fuel efficient. Car needs less gas (or is electric) that means less revenue for the state for roads.

Another factor, considering that we are a small state and the level of traffic passing through (one of the busiest corridors in the region (Boston to NY)) is impacting our roads but we are likely only collecting a portion of the revenue from out of staters.

This is why the topics of tolls has gained traction and you might be seeing tolls in CT starting in 2019 or 2020.
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2 weeks ago

Proposed tolling maps for Southwest CT. Whether you support or oppose tolling for Connecticut, we urge you to read our previous detailed look at this topic here:

 https://www.facebook.com/secoast.at.Old.Lyme/posts/1724452127593531

Proposed tolling maps for Southwest CT. Whether you support or oppose tolling for Connecticut, we urge you to read our previous detailed look at this topic here:

www.facebook.com/secoast.at.Old.Lyme/posts/1724452127593531Here is a map of the proposed toll sites for the SW section of CT including I-95 and CT-15.
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2 weeks ago

Comment on Facebook

Yikes!

Do you suppose that a discount applies if your e-z pass indicates your ct residency?

Why leave the Merritt Pkwy system untolled?

How about I395?

Even if you move away... Malloy will hunt you down and grab your$$$

Are these all to be tolls or proposed locations for options - so only some of these options will actually be tolls?

SECT- why no info for ‘your’ peeps? The graphic which shows New Haven and east?

....and they will build guaranteed speed lanes..express...so you can get from point 1 to 5 to 10 etc without sitting in local traffic...right??? And reduce tolls for those car pooling of course?? Oh wait...this is CT..so noooooooo 🤬

Have those opposed read up on this?? In-staters will get lower rates + tolls will be electronic so it will not hold up traffic if you have an easy pass, convenient anyway. (My husband & I both have them already). I think I read between New Hampshire- DC we are the only main state (excluding RI) which doesn’t have tolls. ie CT is missing out. Our state is desperate for funds so WHY NOT capitalize on one of our assets, ie location betw Boston & NYC?

So, CT wants me to move !

Tolls are a nuisance. If this happens will use back roads more and more.

Does Dan Spicer support this? Need to know who not to vote for. Let’s legalize weed and let’s reap those benefits.

Oh, all those accidents........😞😞😞

EVERY PERSON ON THIS THREAD! SECoast just posted another related piece— MUCH longer, looks to take 15 m at least— but If you felt strongly enough to weigh in here, then presumably you might be willing to learn the essentials and BE PART OF THE CONVERSATION. The problem? With this year’s short session, there is no way to get the needed consensus, thus I hope it does not pass this session or— if it does— that it is then thoughtfully executed with transparency as a priority and much opportunity for public input.

Mike Haynes

leaving CT anyways. enjoy yet another assault on your income!

Who needs more infromation ? The state has continually spent every tax dollar and more ! Give a incompetent jackass more money he will spend it ! Then they will up the gas/cigarette/alchol/consumer tax again and then the income tax ! And btw rhode island is adding tolls also and already have the electronic rigging done !

Let Fairfield County pay its fair share

If I lived in Litchfield, I'd be pissed to have to pay to maintain I95 for the Wall Street Guys commute from Greenwich and Stamford.

Except for the highways in Northern VA, I've never driven on a highway with this density of tolls--come on..at least one in every town? The impact on transportation cost of food, etc. will be horrendous. Remember, transportation costs will be impacted by both tolls and lost time / delays due to tolls.

Just trucks and out of staters

Ugggggg whose brilliant idea? Let me guess...a person who doesn't have to get across a river to get to work in southern ct?

I believe it will be electronic just as in Massachusetts. No toll booths

Dang. I remember when they got rid of the tolls in my hometown, Greenwich.

+ View previous comments

Tolling maps proposed by CTDOT. Whether you support or oppose tolling, we strongly encourage you to take a look at our earlier discussion of this topic here:

https://www.facebook.com/secoast.at.Old.Lyme/posts/1724452127593531

Tolling maps proposed by CTDOT. Whether you support or oppose tolling, we strongly encourage you to take a look at our earlier discussion of this topic here:

www.facebook.com/secoast.at.Old.Lyme/posts/1724452127593531TOLL MAPS PART 2:

The CT DOT has proposed installing tolls along major routes throughout Connecticut, including I-84, I-95, I-91, and Routes 2, 8, 9, and 11. The toll locations would not only be along the borders of our state, but also heavily scattered throughout.

A follow up to my previous post regarding the toll locations in SW CT. Here is a CDM Smith (engineering consultants) map of the proposed tolls on I-84 West of Hartford.

To drive from Hartford to the NY border on I-84 it would cost $5.50 during peak travel hours under this proposal
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2 weeks ago

Planning Commission Minutes 02/13/2017



MINUTES
OLD LYME PLANNING COMMISSION
SPECIAL MEETING
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2017

PRESENT WERE: Harold Thompson, Chris Kerr, Alternate Barbara Gaudio seated for Steven Ross and Alternate Todd Machnik seated for Edgar Butcher. Also present were Ed Cassella, Keith Rosenfeld, and Kim Groves.

PRELIMINARY DISCUSSION – CO-APPLICANTS – GRAYBILL PROPERTIES, LLC AND HOPE Partnership – 16 NECK ROAD – 4 LOT SUBDIVISION

Joe Wren, PE of Indigo Land Design presented the preliminary proposal. Wren stated the property is located just off of I-95 north on the right hand side in an R-40 zone. HOPE Partnership is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing affordable workforce housing on the shoreline. He stated the property is 12.6 acres and runs from the Connecticut River to Route 156. He stated there is a large stone house on the property with a newer addition attached to it and a stone pool which has been filled in for safety reasons. He noted they did soil testing on the property and the soils are good. He stated there are a small area of wetlands along the Connecticut River as well as a pocket of wetlands out in front by the roadway. He said currently HOPE is under contract with Jim Graybill to enter into a four lot subdivision. He stated that Graybill Properties would retain the two residential lots and HOPE would acquire the two lots closes to the street for a total of 6 acres. HOPE is not sure what they would do with the second parcel at this point but their intent would be to develop the front parcel into multi-family affordable housing. Wren pointed out the flagship lot to the rear as well as the access strip to the abutting rear lot. Therefore there are three frontage lots and one rear lot. Wren stated he was looking for recommendations from the commission before the project moves forward.

Page 2

Ed Cassella noted for the record that he was on the Board of Directors for HOPE Partnership for 6 years and termed off last October and therefore would be unable to participate in any of the discussion. Chris Kerr also stated that he had worked previously for Jim Graybill so he also would not be participating in tonight’s discussion.

Wren stated that HOPE falls under the Connecticut General Statute 8-30g. He stated a formal application for a 4 lot subdivision would probably come before the commission within the next month or so and then onto the Zoning Commission for a site plan review. Rosenfeld noted that a wetlands application would also be required and stated it could run concurrently with the subdivision application.

Wren stated he felt the maximum units on the site would be between 16 and 24 with a mix of bedrooms. He said they could also exceed that amount of units if they wanted to go through the DEEP. He noted that this can often be a lengthy and expensive process.

Thompson stated the Plan of Conservation and Development has a section stating that the town promotes the development of affordable housing development.

Barbara Gaudio stated she was unsure how the Town of Old Lyme would react to this type of project but noted she was in favor of it. Thompson also stated that he was in favor of it as well.

Wren also noted due to the wetlands in the front it would serve as a natural buffer to the project.

Machnik asked Wren to explain the reason for the bell shaped entrance. Machnik also suggested that the developer be mindful of a right-turn only out of the development. Wren stated the 75 ft. thing is under Section 2.34 of the Subdivision Regulations “states that a lot in which the width measured at the road line is less than fifty percent (50%) of the required minimum dimension of a square on the lot, as set forth in the Old Lyme Zoning Regulations”. He stated the minimum dimension of the square is 150 in the R40 zone so half of that are 75.
Page 3

Therefore any lot that has less than 75’ feet of frontage is a rear lot. So if it is provided 75’ it is no longer a rear lot. Wren stated there is a percentage of restriction on rear lots proposed. Todd Machnik stated with a 50 ft. right of way you could do a full subdivision. Wren stated that is correct but the idea is to just have two single family lots. He noted there is an existing driveway that comes through the site with utility poles and Mr. Graybill is trying to contact the owner of the adjacent property to obtain an easement over his driveway to access both of the lots eliminating the need for any more road cuts.

Rosenfeld asked if the applicant would be willing to submit some sort of traffic study. Wren stated that HOPE would have to hire a traffic engineer to conduct the study. Rosenfeld clarified that basically the rules of the state overrule the rules of the town for these types of project.

Barbara Gaudio asked if they anticipated any problems with drainage. Wren stated it was all deep sand and gravel so anything that hits the ground just soaks right into the ground.

DISCUSSION – PLAN OF CONSERVATION & DEVELOPMENT – SALT MARSH ADVANCEMENT & SEA LEVEL RISE.

The Planning Commission is in the process of reviewing comments from the workshop. No actions or decisions were taken.

READING AND APPROVAL OF THE JANUARY MEETING AND FEBRUARY WORKSHOP MINUTES.

Todd Machnik made a motion to waive the reading and approve the minutes as submitted. Barbara Gaudio seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Kim Groves
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2 weeks ago

Wed love to hear your feedback on plans for a 37-unit, 12-building affordable housing development (under Connecticut General Statute 8-30G) in Old Lyme. 

The development has been proposed by Hope Partnership, with Graybill Properties LLC, for 16 Neck Road, immediately adjacent to the I-95 Northbound exit (to the right).

You can find filed plans for the project below: 
https://www.dropbox.com/s/dhzzk0qftf9to6h/Affordable%20Development%20Old%20Lyme%20-%20Plan.pdf?dl=0

There is a public hearing on the proposal scheduled for May 14, 2018 at 7:30 PM in the Old Lyme Town Hall. We encourage you to attend.

We'd love to hear your feedback on plans for a 37-unit, 12-building affordable housing development (under Connecticut General Statute 8-30G) in Old Lyme.

The development has been proposed by Hope Partnership, with Graybill Properties LLC, for 16 Neck Road, immediately adjacent to the I-95 Northbound exit (to the right).

You can find filed plans for the project below:
www.dropbox.com/s/dhzzk0qftf9to6h/Affordable%20Development%20Old%20Lyme%20-%20Plan.pdf?dl=0

There is a public hearing on the proposal scheduled for May 14, 2018 at 7:30 PM in the Old Lyme Town Hall. We encourage you to attend.
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2 weeks ago

Comment on Facebook

I count forty units? Wow. According to the minutes they were talking 16-24 units and now they're at 40 (according to plans). That is quite an increase. www.oldlyme-ct.gov/Pages/OldLymeCT_PlanMin/I05916F8D?textPage=1.

Ask questions! We need to understand this project.

I love the idea of this! For years I've heard people say there's no way that Children could live here. This opens up an opportunity!

Its not low income housing, nor is it truly "affordable" The "affordable housing law" in CT only means a very small percentage of units builts need to be "affordable". It is a law passed by developers basically to force towns to allow them to buiild cluster housing anywhere they what. It is ruining many neighbors all over the state. Most complexes here in Stratford pushed through with this "law" are 2 bedroom units with only 1 or 1.5 parking spots per car and the overflow cars blocking streets not meant for such a thing. FIGHT it if you can!

It's already created steady traffic choking in Old Saybrook and town taxes are going UP to cover what the State did not/could not. It was built with a promise not to remove a lane of trees between the units and the North burial ground... that went right out the window. Those of us who live downtown are pissed.... trust me, don't let it happen to you!

In the United States, municipalities have a legal mandate to zone a certain amount of land within their borders for multifamily housing (See, Southern Burlington County N.A.A.C.P. v. Mount Laurel Township, 1975). Perhaps in response to this SCOTUS decision, and fallout from it in the years that followed, in 1990, the Connecticut legislature passed the Affordable Housing Appeals Act (the "Act"). Under the Act, if less than 10% of the housing in a town is “affordable housing,” then certain developers whose housing development plans have been rejected by the town have the right to sue the town. Once in court, the town must prove that its rejection of the proposed development was for legitimate reasons. This presents a question to townspeople, do you either (a) affirmatively zone for affordable housing, which usually takes the form of multi-family housing, and put the balls in the town's court by actually PLANNING for where that type of housing is going to go, or (b) sit back and wait for developer's to propose affordable housing, and be forced into approving it when they make compelling arguments to the town's decision-makers that if they don't approve the project, they will successfully sue the town for noncompliance with its mandate to zone for affordable housing per the Mt. Laurel decision and its manifestation in the Act. The proposed development we see in this site plan is simply trash. Multi-unit garden apartments, adjacent to a highway? This type of housing and urban design was antiquated a decade ago, let alone today. But this is what we get if we don't affirmatively plan for affordable housing! Instead of being reactionary, we could try for once to be proactive? Imagine the possibilities of how we could otherwise meet our affordable housing obligations - say, a beautiful four or five story apartment building on Halls Road, built closer to existing street lines, and including ground floor retail that adds interest and vitality to our little town... a building like that would contain the same number of units as this proposed travesty, on 1/10th the land, preserving our landscape and having less impact on the natural environment. So, in organizing opposition to this embarrassment of a project, we should make sure that we are forward thinking about how we are going to affirmatively meet our beloved towns' obligation to provide affordable, multi family housing. Don't just say "no." Say "no" with a "yes" to something better! Bring solutions to the core issue.

I think it’s a great idea

How unfortunate. Thought they bought this property to prevent this type of development!!

Why would anyone want to live practically on top of I95? I am sure there is a much better location for afforable housing in this town.

The state actually took part of that property for eminent domain-years ago to put in I 95 I think.

How do they expect to get cars in and out of that parcel of land? Already, drivers coming off the highway often do not yield to the traffic on Rt. 156, and cars on 156 often do not stay in the travel lane at the point of yield. There must be a safer and more appropriate location in town for cluster housing.

Taking a left is going to be a nightmare!

Would love to do the Structural drawings, who's the Architect?

Here is an illustration of the development proposed for Old Lyme. If you'd like to see a smaller version of the project, six years, and a couple of miles down the road, we encourage you to visit the Hope Partnership Development at 45 Ferry Road, Old Saybrook.

Here is a recording of Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder's remarks on the 16 Neck Rd development: " www.dropbox.com/s/td5j46lxe9sy99a/Reemsnyder%20-%20Hope%20Partnership.m4a?dl=0

Realistically you will never have all 37 units merging onto 156 at the same time. If it’s well planned and designed, as a 33 year resident of OL, I approve of this development.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to have young children being raised in an area where constant pollution and exhaust is dropping down from the sky from the highway. Just saying.

I don’t see anything wrong yet! With hwy there they need some kind of a sound Barrier there! I need more information! Any tax benefits to us in old Lyme?

If it’s like what they have in Essex and Saybrook, it’s not going to be a very nice entrance to our town

I understand that humans need a habitat, but this is an abysmal plan conceived to enrich its owner, at the expense of our lovely little town.

Great point Gregg

I’m fine with that as long as my taxes don’t have to go up again

Dave Plotkin

Kevin Lamarco

Guess it's a good thing they're not building that trained to go through there anymore. What they built they would have to destroy for the tracks for their original plan next to the highway.

+ View previous comments

We thought we would share another interesting snippet from yesterday's transportation roundtable in New London.

Here the conversation turns to the regionalism, and state-level control of transportation decision-making, funding and siting... the challenges of dividing responsibilities among 169 towns and cities.

The issue of local control is something that has come up repeatedly over the last several months, with the Federal Railroad Administration, and the Connecticut Department of Transportation, repeatedly offering slippery (and we think fleeting) assurances of local decision-making on larger transportation projects like NEC Future.

More recently, and directly referenced below, the Malloy administration has proposed extraordinary cutbacks to bus services, which would be borne entirely by independent regional transit districts. Even while leaving state-controlled busing unscathed, these cuts would effectively gut the 14 districts referenced below by 2020.

Can regionalism provide better cooperation, and efficiencies of scale? No doubt. And in fact, our independent recent study of the New Haven Line by transit analyst Alon Levy identified tighter train scheduling through better multi-agency cooperation, and increased reliability, as a primary cost-efficient solution for transit problems along the Northeast Corridor.

But still, it's hard to ignore the fact that despite real challenges of 26 separate busing contracts, cited below with some exasperation by Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker, these independent regional transit districts are by-and-large better run, with lower overhead, and have better local participation, than their state-run CTTransit peers.

Nowhere did we see the need for better expertise and larger government resources than in Old Lyme, where a small local government met all the force of a federal agency behind closed doors during the spring of 2016. But in that case it was not the state government, but the grassroots, local leaders, regional and state NGOs, and the RiverCOG, which rode to the rescue. Given this case, and our uneven experience with the Federal Railroad Administration and Connecticut Department of Transportation, it's hard not to view more federal- and state-level control with anything other than scepticism.

Certainly, more transparency, real public oversight, and greater respect for community and historic preservation concerns, would do much to quell our fears, and get us off the back bench and on board with finding solutions for better transportation and the economy of Connecticut.

Here's the exchange below (verbatim)
.......

Q: “To what extent is the 169 towns and cities, so forth an impediment to solving transportation problems?”

Murphy: “It’s an impediment. And I’d hope that the state legislators here can opine on this, but it’s an impediment because it doesn’t allow you to do real regional planning.

To the extent that we do operate in regional efforts, they don’t overlap so our regional transit districts are different than the other ways we work on some of these regional policies, so even when we do work regionally, every city and town probably belongs to a hundred different regional organizations, almost none of which are the same. I think this is a question that ultimately the state legislature, the next governor, is going to need to tackle.

Remember Connecticut has the same number of people as San Diego County, which makes decisions as one unit. We make decisions not as 169 units, but as thousands of different units between the municipal decisions and all the different regional decisions that are made. But I don’t know, some of the panel members may have thoughts on this, how you conceive of a transportation decision-making process in the future which is much more regionally-based.

Q: Do you know how many different transit districts we have?

SEAT: I’d probably defer to the Commissioner… I think there’s about a dozen or so individual districts?

Redeker: 14. And there’s 26 different contracts in total, to run bus service in Connecticut.

Murphy: Right. And so I guess the question is, does a state this size ultimately need 26 different contracts, 12 different [muffled]

SEAT: Because there’s a state-owned transit system, CTTransit, serving some of the larger communities. You have models of Rhode Island with State Transit Authority… Delaware… New Jersey… so there are model out there where the whole transit authority is the state essentially.

Murphy: This plays to the transportation system writ large. One of primary problems when it comes to the Northeast Rail Corridor, is that you have a half-dozen states that are making independent decisions that might be good for them, but not good for the totality of the corridor.

So, you’ve got problems in Connecticut where transit systems may not always be working towards the totality of what’s good for state commuters, and also have the problem of the Northeast Rail Corridor as well… the balkanization of transit and transportation as you’d call it [muffled].
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3 weeks ago

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Really compelling, nuanced points. How did you get so much text from the NL meeting verbatim?

"Slippery and...fleeting" is my impression, too. It seems like everything could still turn around on a dime. We can never take assurances for granted.

Looking for $$$$$ to dump into the City hubs. I have asked through 4 budget now in Groton, WHY is there no set route stops? Right now it is a livery service, using miles to charge. Needs to be SHUT DOWN. Wasting taxpayer money the way it is being run now.

You are being sold out

White House infrastructure adviser D.J. Gribbin calls it quits

White House infrastructure adviser D.J. Gribbin calls it quits ... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago

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Another one bites the dust...

VIDEO LINK — A great interview with Sen. Eric Lesser on the topic of East-West Rail.

Anyone interested in the idea of connecting eastern Mass. with western Mass. by rail should be encouraged by the political leadership on this issue that Sen. Lesser continues to offer to all of us.
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1 month ago

Gov. Baker seems not to have any facts available on East—West rail, as if studies indicating its feasibility hadn’t already been done. This deliberate ignorance of the issue is shameful. ... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago

We encourage you to attend, to ask good questions, and hear what the various candidates have to say.

We encourage you to attend, to ask good questions, and hear what the various candidates have to say.There is an important event today in Groton hosted by Nancy Mello Miller and Alyssa Siegel-Miles from Action Together Connecticut - New London County and We Stand Together - Southeast CT Resistance Actions and Info. I also look forward to seeing my friends from Rise Up Mystic, Stonington Democratic Town Committee, Groton CT Democrats, City of Groton Democrats, Plainfield Democratic Town Committee, Griswold Democratic Town Committee, Voluntown Democratic Town Committee Meeting, and folks from Preston and Sterling as well. I'll be there (mostly listening), but happy to chat with anyone interested in my race for the State Senate. Look forward to seeing you there. ... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago

Always worth seeing what Jim Cameron has to say about transportation...Jim Cameron’s talk on our Transportation Crisis from this week in New Canaan

vimeo.com/258249483
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2 months ago

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