The cluster development and zone change from R1 (1-acre) to DRD (1/2-acre) proposed by John Paul LLC for the corner of Booth Hill Road and Waverly Road was first reported by the Huntington Herald in April 2018. As constituents and residents of our Huntington neighborhood, we were extremely concerned to learn that The Shelton Conservation Commission had expressed interest in purchasing the property, previously zoned for farmland, with the intention of preserving the roughly 23 acres as public open space, but was outbid by the development company in a private sale with the owner.
Being close to the watershed and reservoir areas owned by Aquarion Water Co., we are all familiar with the conditions on and surrounding this property. As homeowners, we bought our properties with the expectation that our area was zoned for only R1.
The proposed cluster development shows a crowded configuration of houses, and awkwardly designed open space, with a narrow, almost inaccessible entry and impractical boundaries that effectively render the proposed open space unusable. Shelton does not need more crowded housing, on smaller plots that changes our environment to the detriment of all, with no regard to the future of our town.
After researching the suggested need for a zoning change, speaking with the Conservation Commission, Inland Wetland Commission, Aquarion Water Co., attending multiple Planning and Zoning meetings, seeing the proposed cluster development and listening to representatives of John Paul LLC, many of us expressed our objections in a public forum and our concerns have only deepened.
On June 12, at the second P&Z meeting on this matter, a letter was read from Aquarion with many issues and changes that need to be addressed and met by the developer. (Please see the attached article from the Huntington Herald, dated June 14 ).
Aquarion also strongly supports and recommends that the City of Shelton buy all or part of the 22.6 acre property and preserve it as open space. The Conservation Committee recommends the same. Should this new DRD zoning change be allowed, it will severely and negatively impact our area for future sales of open space and farmlands. It will change the quiet, open natural beauty of our neighborhood into a more congested, less appealing place to live. The wonderful qualities that set Huntington apart from other areas of Shelton will be lost. Cluster development has no place in Huntington. Letting this zoning change pass just once, sets an extremely dangerous precedent for our neighborhood and all of Shelton.
Maintaining the R1 zoning or more importantly, preserving usable public open space is crucial.
We strongly urge the City of Shelton to keep and protect our neighborhood and purchase the land to be maintained as open space for the future of our town, our children and our children’s children.