When the Shelter Ridge application came before Planning & Zoning, it seemed to me and many many other Shelton residents that taking this largest piece of undeveloped land in Shelton, located on Bridgeport Avenue, to put up a monster “high end” shopping center plus high rise residential buildings was not a good idea. This property, belonging to the Wells family since King Charles of England granted it to them in the 1600’s, was zoned “Light Industrial” a zoning designation that all the nearby residents counted on…like a promise. Besides, current shopping centers are becoming obsolete with Amazon being such a popular way to shop. Malls all over the country are failing. There are empty stores in Trumbull Mall and elsewhere. Do we really need another one? The beautiful Mill River and Mill Street will never be the same with the runoff from this huge endeavor. The heavy blasting which will occur will almost certainly affect the wells of the surrounding neighbors. What about us? No neighborhood is safe. I will note here that I do not live in this neighborhood, but I write out of concern for this neighborhood and all Shelton neighborhoods.
Threatened with a zone change, hundreds of residents showed up for the early meeting…it took several meetings for residents to have their say, me included. Almost every resident who spoke was against the zone change. During some of these meetings, the microphones weren’t working…no one could hear the residents speaking, or the chairwoman who ran the meeting, who seemed determined to keep going although we couldn’t hear her. Finally a substitute working microphone was found which worked. Access to minutes of these meetings were hard to come by, with the excuse that equipment wasn’t working, or there was a staffing problem, etc. etc. Pretty disheartening for residents who are genuinely concerned. I felt then and I feel now: What about us? No neighborhood is safe!
In the end, this monster project was approved. I am very disappointed, but not surprised. Only two P&Z members voted no. Out of all this came a new organization of concerned citizens Save Our Shelton – SOS. I am a member. We are not giving up…because No neighborhood is safe! I applaud and appreciate the many hours that Planning & Zoning members give of their personal time, to attend meetings. They are a necessary and important part of our Shelton. But we need more balanced thinking! That is why I hope that come Election Day, all voting residents will consider voting for some changes. I consider that Mark Widomski, whose balanced point of view seems to fit in very well and will, I feel, listen to us, the Shelton residents who pay our taxes and love our town.