After a property owner has been delinquent in the realm of paying taxes for a good long while, that parcel is made available by the City of Hartford to others. On Saturday, February 23rd, twenty properties will be up for sale.
It begins in the Bulkeley High School auditorium at 10am; potential bidders must register between 8-9:45am. Continue reading 'Cheap Properties Up for Bid'»
The Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously denied the request for a special permit that would have allowed for installation of a changeable electronic billboard at 15 Flower Street. It is expected that the Courant will ask to install a static sign in that same location.
Tonight is the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, along with public hearing, regarding — among other things — a request for a special permit to install a changeable electronic billboard in sight of an already congested segment of I-84.
The full PZC staff report is available to the public, but there are several key factors missing from the report. In it, there is no mention of the busway, which will be adjacent to the parking lot in which this sign would be constructed. Continue reading 'Billboard Proposal Does Not Account for Busway'»
The Hartford Courant is seeking a variance to install an electronic billboard on its building. The company has applied for a special permit for the changeable electronic billboard at 15 Flower Street.
Such signs are widely considered to be a blight presenting safety concerns as the flashing billboards create distractions for motorists and pedestrians.
In the past, the Courant has published commentary by writers opposing such billboards.
There will be a public hearing on this proposal at Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission. The meeting begins at 5p.m. and will be held in the plaza level conference room at 260 Constitution Plaza.
The interior of the second and third floors have already gone through demolition and the first floor’s exterior façade is in process of being spruced up. Thanks to $500,000 given by CL&P toward the rehab project, the three-story, blond-brick building at the corner of Ashley and Garden Street (207-213 Garden) is now moving closer to completion.
The rehab project, sponsored by the Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance, INC. (NINA), was acquired in 2010 from what NINA is calling an “absentee investor.” Except for a pizza shop and package store on the first floor, the entire building (11,000 square feet) was vacant.
Moving forward, the plan is to maintain retail on the ground floor, while creating apartments on the second, and commercial space on the third. David Corrigan, the Program Manager for NINA, says the organization anticipates construction on the apartments will begin early in 2013. He says the apartments should be available to rent in early 2014. Rental rates will be determined closer to the date of completion. Continue reading 'Zunner Building in Asylum Hill Receives Funding'»
When campaigning, one should be carefully constructing and reinforcing one’s image. The photograph above is a model of what not to do. Continue reading 'Politics in the Grass'»
The Livable & Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative (LSNI) has been troubled since its inception due to poor hiring decisions compounded by an absence of management. Why take time and money to provide training for LSNI employees when more qualified individuals could have filled these positions from the start?
That is just one of the questions that emerges after reading the recently leaked assessment of the six-month-old program.
Despite its critique of various employees, pieces of the assessment continue to show how the program is being handled too delicately. It begins:
Continue reading 'Another Look at the LSNI Assessment'»
Dissent from Neighborhood
Not a single Hartford resident or business owner attending Monday’s special meeting of the Frog Hollow NRZ spoke in favor of the closure of Flower Street. Though the Connecticut Department of Transportation is required to hold a public hearing (August 23) regarding this street closure, the DOT spokesmen (the sole female never spoke) made it clear that they were uninterested in engaging the community in discussing the unilateral decision to further cut off Frog Hollow and Asylum Hill from one another. The viaduct began that job; the busway appears to be finishing it.
The meeting began with a presentation on the planned closure of Flower Street, though the DOT actually gave more overview of other parts of the project along with the planned construction on Broad Street, which they said could begin as early as next week. They explained, in detail not afforded to the Flower Street portion of the project, how the Broad-Asylum-Farmington intersection would be reconfigured. This segment showed serious detail to repainting lanes differently, but did not incorporate lessons from past failures with reconfigured turning lanes, as resident Jennifer Cassidy noted. This could be a metaphor for the DOT’s method of planning: be detail-oriented about one aspect while not investigating other angles whatsoever.
In their presentation, the DOT spokesmen (8-10 employees with the Department were present at the meeting, but only three spoke at any length) boasted that the Flower Street closure had been endorsed by the FRA/FTA administrations, though they did not say when this occurred.
They also said that they had traffic concerns regarding this area, yet the most recent traffic study completed for Flower Street was done by CRCOG — in 2006.
Cary Wheaton, the executive director of Billings Forge Community Works, along with David Corrigan, of the Frog Hollow NRZ, demanded a new traffic study be completed as there have been major changes in the neighborhood since 2006. The Firebox, a major draw, opened in 2007. The Kitchen at Billings Forge opened its doors only a few years ago. In that area, there have also been classes and events at the Studio, along with a farmers’ market — none of which were happening at the time of the CRCOG study. The Dunkin Donuts, formerly at the gas station on Broad and Capitol, moved into a space on Lawrence and Capitol. Continue reading 'Deflowering Without Consent'»
First Rule: You do not talk about it. Continue reading 'Blight Club'»