Board Members in attendance: Art Schoeller, Norm Kramer, Lois Sussman, and MaryAnn Meyer.
Invited Guests: RTM-5 Reps, Karen Kramer, Peter Gold and Dick Lowenstein and Lory Nurenberg of West Parish.
Art opened the meeting and welcomed Board members and invited guests. The topic of discussion was the Town’s possible acquisition of 4 acres of land from the State DOT lot that borders West Parish Road and Post Road East.
The Town would plan to build moderate income housing (appox 39 town house units). The State DOT would continue to run their operations on the remaining 7 acres of land.
Lory Nurenberg and her husband, Frank Hall have resided on West Parish for 25 years. She provided the Board an account of their experience living across the street from the STATE DOT yard. She and Frank have seen the location deteriorate over several years. Lory mentioned the shed on the property is dilapidated, the chain link fence has fallen to the ground, there are many fallen trees and the area is full of trash most of the time. She indicated that she has filed complaints to the Blight Commission though the area continues to be in poor condition. She plans to file a 3rd complaint to the Blight Board.
In regard to the possibility of building affordable housing on the lot, Lory feels it is a win-win for the Town and her neighbors who are also in favor of the project. She mentioned that she would hope that the neighbors would be able to have input on the project once it is approved. Art referenced two recent projects in the area (Geiger Property and Rogers Septic) that did take into account the neighbors’ concerns as it seems to be a best practice by builders.
A discussion followed with Board members and RTM-5 Reps as both groups brought up some very good ideas and concerns. As the State has not yet agreed to provide the Town with the 4 acres of land, it might be possible to have the State clean up the area for a start. Affordable housing is a separate issue.
Some Board members felt that there would be little change as the area would still have the State DOT operating trucks and heavy equipment on the property. Affordable housing is important but so are improvements of our infrastructure to support these projects.
The Greens Farms Association has a history with the Blight Commission and Art indicated that he would contact them. Also State Senators and Reps would be contacted to see what they can do to clean up the area. The Board will continue its discussion as the Town continues its efforts to acquire the parcel at West Parish.
Next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 15th at 7pm.