Opposition to Shelter Ridge stands strong

‘Save our Shelton’ hires attorney

 

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Gregory Tetro told the angry crowd to be respectful of all opinions as Ron Pavluvcik stated he supported the Shelter Ridge application. — Dylan Haviland photo

More than 200 residents packed into the Shelton Intermediate School auditorium to oppose the Towne Center at Shelter Ridge application and developer’s desired zone change from a light industrial to a planned development district.

The opposition said they’re prepared to take the developers to court as they have hired attorney Keith Ainsworth, who spoke at the meeting, as well as an engineer who wasn’t named.

Residents opposed to the application  say they will not stop until the developer’s lose in court or consider their concerns.

More than 30 people had the chance to voice their opposition to the application. 60 or so residents remain on the list to speak at the next public hearing on June 28.

Residents emphasized the already bad traffic situation right along Bridgeport Avenue, the damages the development would have on the city’s greenways, trails and scenic roads, as well as  suggestions made that developers look into other areas for a more well-suited place for the development.

The mixed-use development would include over 300,000-square-feet of retail space, a medical office building, an assisted living facility, and what residents are referring to as a “monstrosity” of a 450-unit, nine-story apartment building that would infringe on or look over city-owned green space.

Along with the residents who voiced their concerns, the P&Z Commission opened up the meeting by sharing some concerns of their own.

Commission Alternate Frank Ozak stated that one of the biggest issues he had was the developer’s portraying the tax benefits of the development to be substantially larger than it is.

Commissioner Jimmy Tickey also expressed his worries of the development negatively impacting the Far Mill River and the wildlife that inhabit the area as well as an excessive amount of parking space. He urged the developers to provide more documents defending their proposal.

Chairman of Shelton’s Conservation Commission Tom Harbinson shared a PowerPoint presentation that highlighted the negative impacts the development could have on wildlife and other attractive natural resources that people from other states come to experience.

Harbinson was one of several residents who made suggestions for the developer to reconsider the structure of their proposal. He said the possibility of moving the apartment building towards  Bridgeport Avenue would help to protect the ridge and also preserve the natural beauty of the city’s green space because it would no longer tower over current residents’ homes as is currently proposed.

Attorney Ainsworth said he believes the commission will be sensible in their final say on the application and they should strive to maintain a balance rather than approving developments for shear tax benefits.

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“You’re trading your birthright for taxes, and you’ve got to be really careful about that,” Ainsworth said at the beginning of the meeting’s public portion. “Balance is what this should be about, and balance is what you should demand in this PDD. You need to deny the PDD and make them go back. They can do an awful lot better than this.”

Shelton resident Ron Pavluvcik was once again the lone supporter of the application to speak and challenged those opposing the application to think what they would do given they owned the city’s greenspace which they are looking to preserve.

Residents were not pleased to hear Pavluvcik speak.

He said his only issue with the development was the nine-story apartment building wasn’t big enough.

“Instead of nine stories, let’s make it 18,” said Pavluvcik.

He compared the Shelter Ridge proposal to the Split Rock development on Bridgeport Avenue with the purpose of showing residents the positive outcome of what was previously opposed. He also said he wanted residents to understand that developments like this are the reason they are able to brag about low taxes in the city.

The public portion will continue June 28 in Shelton Intermediate School’s auditorium at 7 p.m.

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  • Disgusted

    Of all the people at the meeting who spoke, the author chose this blowhard to put up here on video? He made a joke of the whole process and came one step shy of saying we should add a circus tent and performers.

    • Ron Pavluvcik

      Or is it the other way around??? Only the alleged “blowhard” represented the interests of ALL Shelton residents, compared to the 150 rowdy and rude obstructionists who live nearby, the usual “not in my backyard” types…the “blowhard” presented facts and gave many good reasons why the development should move forward, which it will….finally, it would take a HUGE circus tent to enclose all the hysterical and biased tree huggers at the meeting..jobs and low taxes are more important than protecting a bunch of trees and forests which already fill up most of the area…get a life!

      Ron Blowhard

      • Disgusted

        Ha, yes, clearly ALL the residents of Shelton were there behind you to back your idea to build an 18 story building with a rotating restaurant. Like most of the people in attendance, none of whom that I recall to be hysterical, I am not of the belief that there should not be construction on the site, but instead am looking for a less intrusive design that is provides a better balance and fit for our area. The new design will still bring tax dollars, but should not be the massive eyesore currently proposed and should do more to protect our environment, which if you haven’t heard, is actually a global initiative. I do not live nearby, nor hug trees, but do enjoy the outdoors and staying in shape and appreciate the green space of my surroundings as a great place to do so. And my life is quite full, thank you. I might suggest you take a look at your own, and try to see what is missing that makes you want to attend meetings on just about any topic in order to be opposition just for the sake of opposition.

        • Ron Pavluvcik

          Sadly, the loud and boisterous obstructionists to development, intimidate supporters from speaking up – I don’t wither so easily and often end up being the only one to speak in favor. Same with my Obama protest, no one else had the balls to be there and show their displeasure with his policies…..and annual Board of Ed propaganda that would otherwise greatly raise taxes. Almost always my side prevails, as it will on the Shelton Ridge project when something expansive is built there.

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