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Letter to Editor: Voice Your Opinion About Poquonock Village Development

The Windsor Town Council will be meeting Monday, December 3rd at 7:30 PM in Town Hall Chambers. All residents are encouraged to attend to voice your opinion about the 296 housing units, that includes 192 apartments proposed fpr the former Brown's D

The following was submitted by John Dunn:

Poquonock Village development issues continue; More questions, still no answers. 

The Windsor Town Council will be meeting Monday, December 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall Council Chambers. All residents are encouraged to attend to voice your opinion about the 296 housing units, that includes 192 apartments proposed for the former Brown's Driving Range on Poquonock Ave.

I have attended two monthly Windsor Town Planning and Zoning Commission meetings and asked at each "When was the Zoning Regulations changed to allow High Density Housing construction?" and "When and how was the public notified of this pending change?" In both cases I was told that answers would be given during the developers rebuttal session. They weren't addressed. The developers choose which questions they answer and then ignore the rest.

This massive development has been rushed through the TPZ Commission from first inception on September 11 when only two residents knew to attend and they voiced their strong objection. The traffic study was not completed, and still has not been fully presented, yet our many concerns are not being taken seriously.Please attend this meeting and hear what other residents are saying. Please help "Save Our Poquonock Neighborhood".

Ceil Greco December 03, 2012 at 07:50 PM
There are 130 apartments going in on Mechanic Street and now it is proposed to build 192 more in Poquonock. This will have a tremendous impact on our schools. Renters do not add very many dollars to our local taxes. Who is going to pay all of the extra tax dollars needed to support the schools? Where do 222 renters come from? This is unrealistic.
Michaela I. Fissel December 04, 2012 at 02:01 AM
I would assume that owners of rental complexes pay property taxes? This would solve the problem of, "who is going to pay all the extra tax dollars needed to support the schools?" I am trying to understand the potential impact that developing 296 housing units will have on the Windsor Public School system because we are facing such a crisis with BOE President, Doreen Richardson, and Dr. Marlon James', voiced concern regarding the influence of ethnic equity on the achievement gap. I am not sure that the proposed Equity and Excellence Review will be helpful if this many new residents will be coming to Windsor to rent. This is considering that if the units are developed as "luxury" housing (which is the word that is being used on the street by current residents) then it will bring in students who are from a higher socioeconomic class. Based on the current argument being used by BOE members, the higher socio-economic, "white", students contribute to a high proportion of the higher academic achievers. If this is the case, then families moving into "luxury" apartments will raise the ceiling of the achievement gap and further the disparity between white and minority students. However, if these apartments are affordable housing units, then potentially the renters will be working class, lower-income families who potentially, based on some BOE members' arguments, will not have the same "educational experience" and will therefore lower the floor of the achievement gap.
Catherine & Dennis December 06, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Well the question asked many times is how much would the units go for and the answer is they dont know or it is not answered. Of course they know what they will charge for the rents because that dictates whether they build luxury or not. When will everyone begin to see through the smoke and mirrors that makes up P & Z and the town planners? Can we get just a tad bit of common sense here? Just a tad??? After answering that question finally, then I want to know how the traffic guy decides that there will be less than one car per unit.
Catherine & Dennis December 20, 2012 at 02:03 PM
At the last Town Council meeting Al Simon said he wanted to take another look at the Town Attorney's decision in this matter due to the comments made by the gentleman that sits on P & Z bravely stating he had no idea he was voting for a zoning change at the first meeting and he would therefore have voted no. He also stated that every developer that comes to town changes zoning. First I want to applaud this gentleman's bravery in speaking up. I would then invite everyone to include Al Simon to watch every IWWC and TPZ meeting involving Dollar Tree. The whole process is wrong. Town staff decides what will be voted through and it is. At the final IWWC meeting of Dollar Tree (watch on line May 7) it is very clear these people did not understand what they were voting on, at the 3rd and final vote one asked what statute she was considering. (at every meeting would it not be the Inland Wetlands statute?) even the attorney rubs his head at that one. Two members missed the meeting with expert testamony and only had to say they read the material in order to vote. They did not hear nor have opportunity to ask at least one of the many glaring questions that went unanswered. Poquonock residents have much to be concerned with. Many things that are addressed in public hearings do not happen once construction begins. Driveways change, construction hours are ignored, even the Town Mgr instructs the police not to respond to resident calls. It is all a farce.
Catherine & Dennis December 20, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Also, someone needs to be sure that people such as the site plan engineer is NEVER allowed to speak to things outside of his expertise. For instance, I do not believe he is qualified to speak to chemicals which he did numerous times during the Dollar Tree public hearings. If he does have a liscense as a Chemical Engineer, once I see it, I will apologize, but never heard him state that fact. The Town has a responsibility to see that not only the project they want to move forward does, but it does so without adverse affects to taxpayers, residents currently living in the area. The residents surrounding Dollar Tree have much proof to show this not only was not a consideration, but once passed through is not monitored nor dealt with when the violations occur daily. Clear construction hours were set then when violated they claimed they needed to define the word "construction" and even the Town Manager went to the police station to tell the dispatchers not to respond to our calls because they were allowing them to violate the hours-they needed to get more work done. I have no issue at all with the dispatchers or police over this matter, they did what they were instructed to do by the Town. The point I am making is Poquonock and yes everyone in Town needs to be aware -what is said in public hearings becomes anything but by the time the ink is dry on approvals.
Catherine & Dennis December 20, 2012 at 02:23 PM
So, my point to Poquonock is don't hold your breath anything will happen with Mr Simon "looking" into this matter. Many people brought up the same issues with Dollar Tree and anyone watching any of those hearings could clearly see the same issues. This isnt a new thing for them. I wonder why it is all of a sudden a concern now. Because a member of a committee said it publicly at a meeting? It was obvious to anyone before it was said. It was brought to everyone's attention adnauseum throughout Dollar Tree. We received smart alec commentary, not looking into obvious issues. If nothing can happen after something the size of Dollar Tree with all of the issues that raised, I cant help but believe this is just to act like he is now suddenly concerned for votes he would surely lose next election. Dont hold your breath for any thing coming of it. I hope I am wrong and challenge Al Simon to come about with real change after looking into the many issues and to enforce those that have already been decided. Typically we just hear the words 'its not our pervue'. Since TC cannot do anything and do not have purvue over anything, it appears the folks that should be voted in or out every 2 years is the Town Manager and TPZ
Albert Williams December 21, 2012 at 02:12 PM
So the Town Manager controls the PD? He can advise when a call is important or not? I feel real safe, does the PD call him before they answer a call to be sure its ok to investigate?
Catherine & Dennis December 21, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Again, I do not have a problem with the dispatch or police not responding that time because yes, it appears he can do it. I have the tape of the calls we made that night with the dispatcher saying that Peter Sousa had been there and told them not to respond to our calls because they (construction) would be working late that night -by the way that meant that the neighbors had to listen to machines cutting concrete, loud generators, employees yelling to one another and bright lights on us after hours of 7pm and it was not shut down until after 12:30am that is just one occasion of many. In fact the Mayor stood in our driveway until 12:30 am watching and listening to it all apparently unable to stop it as well.
Albert Williams December 21, 2012 at 02:45 PM
So is it safe to say the Town Manager controls the town? Does he dictate how the Town Council votes? Does he control Inland Wetland and P&Z too?
Catherine & Dennis December 21, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Other horrible issues we have had which they make excuses for is when paving the driveway using a vibrating machine, bowls fell out of my cabinets, things off of tables, counters. The doors were banging inside my home -it was like a continual earthquake. Calls to Town and to the VP of the construction company went no where --they just do not care. The driveway that is supposed to be curved to direct employee traffic to Rainbow Road and International Drive is straight as an arrow and there are two driveways very wide. Again, what is discussed in public hearings is not what happens
John Dunn December 21, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Isn't The Town Mgr HIRED to be "Manager" of Our Town? Also, Aren't the TP&ZC Members Appointed for trems of 5 Years? Much too long. Also, in most organizations and Governments, elected Officers are limited to two cocsecutive terms!
Albert Williams December 21, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Looks like West Hartford is having apartments too. They are putting 47 apartments up and 15 are “affordable”. Not sure if it’s good that they at least said some will be low rent or just hide the fact the way Windsor did.
Windsor School Graduate December 21, 2012 at 04:26 PM
I was here when the Apts. on Windsor Ave. were built, the shopping ctr. near Wilson, and all of the other apts. in town. They were beautiful when first put up -now look at them. Would you want to live there? Heck, I remember the Sugar Bowl, Sids in Wilson, Barts, Carvelles Ranch House and steak house, horseback riding into Kenney Park, Pony Land, Al-Dors dinner, Ellsworth Pharmacy and going to the Plaza theater. Yet Windsor Center, except for the library, hasn't really changed at all??? And the town wants to bring in younger people???? FOR WHAT - there's nothing here to attract younger people. Most of the industry and small shops have closed - just drive up the side streets to Day Hill Rd. If the Hartford makes it (I'll be surprised) and Griffin Park? The last time I was up there "For Rent" signs were all over the place. Windsor USED to be a nice, small town. It has changed dramatically!!!! The town isn't big enough to support all of the people they want here. On Thursday night you can't go shopping at the supermarket because everyone going to the green or open market are taking up all of the parking spaces - where are all of these new people going to shop in town when there is nothing here? There used to be nice little shops around town, but they're gone. So, what is the real reason for all of this???
Catherine & Dennis December 22, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Business is booming haven't you heard? When Dollar Tree opens up there will be jobs where you can make $25,000 a year. It is such a great deal that between the State and Town they got $30 million to do it. Maybe that is a hint into value of the apartments. The surrounding homes that have lost all value cannot contribute to the tax base any longer. Planning isnt really planning is it? They don't care and again, it cannot be said enough what is said during public hearings is not what happens and absolutely nothing is enforced.
Catherine & Dennis December 27, 2012 at 04:38 PM
We have requested the readings from the vibration monitors, we get a response they were not working the two days that my house suffered hours long earthquakes. That in fact is an outright lie. I talked to the man from Terracon both days as he looked at the monitor and said he was watching the monitor. I then requested that those records be kept for 1 year post occupancy and now the monitors have been taken down since. I'd like to publicy state, it is spoilation of evidence to all of a sudden have those records "go missing". The Town was to receive weekly reports on the results.
John Dunn December 27, 2012 at 11:55 PM
With a one vote margin ,the Poquonock Village 192 apartments will be moving forward in spite of Commission procedular errors and misunderstandings as to what was being voted on, on September 11th. As earth-moving machines have already appeared on the site, we need to continuoulsy monitor what is actually being constructed as compared to the approved Concept and Design Plans. In other Town Approved Projects, what is actually constructed differs from the approved blueprints and site plans and agreements! Volunteers?
Catherine & Dennis December 28, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Review and re-review what is said in the televised public hearings. If things are handled on this project as they were on the Dollar Tree project, I can guarantee what was said in public will not be what is the finished project. There will be many, many excuses
Bonnie Karkowski December 31, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Will apartment complexes be the white elephants of the 21st century? With abundant apartment proposals in Windsor and around the state coupled with easy financing, the next foreclosure crisis may well involve apartment buildings. If you have witnessed the blight of foreclosed homes in your neighborhood, imagine what a foreclosed apartment building will do to Windsor's image and tax base. There is no income from foreclosed properties, just a drain on town resources plus a decrease in the value of neighboring properties.
Avon Lady June 20, 2013 at 05:20 AM
Our state is bleeding jobs as companies that pay very good wages are leaving for states that have less taxes, warmer weather. With the high paying jobs leaving where will the renter base be & where are these renters going to get the money to pay for the "Luxury" apartments that are going to be built? Section 8 vouchers & certificates is what will be used to fill those empty apartments because Section 8 pays rents of $1,500 to $2,000. Time to make changes - those at town hall who are failing to protect the interests of our taxpaying homeowners need to be replaced

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