Category: planning & zoning

Artificial Turf Wars

By , April 20, 2015 8:05 am

Approximately 12.18 acres at Trinity College may be disturbed to make changes to its athletic fields. While 0.18 acres is expected to be impervious, that does not mean such a small segment of the space will be natural. Continue reading 'Artificial Turf Wars'»

April 2015 Events

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By , March 29, 2015 9:56 pm

April 1

  • Real Art Ways will be screening The Magnificent Seven at 1 p.m. A conversation will follow: “In the 1950′s, the Western got big and the screen got wide. By 1960, classical Hollywood was breaking down. Conversation addresses some of the causes, and some of the relics that hold the Western together – deadlines, static shots, and operatic violence. It also considers the pressure on postwar manhood and the role of Hollywood in global film culture.” General admission: $11.
  • The McGill Lecture in International Studies features “China and the United Nations” with Ambassador Liu Jieyi, Ambassador of China to the United Nations. This will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the Washington Room of Mather Hall at Trinity College. Free.
  • Get HYPEd at the Black Bear Saloon, 187 Allyn Street. They say: “Get HYPEd is a casual event that offers an opportunity to network with other young professionals. Join us for Get HYPEd at Black Bear Saloon and make sure to drop a business card for your chance to win a prize! At this Get HYPEd, our Community Involvement Committee is holding a Community Collection for Mercy Housing & Shelter Corporation. Their food pantry needs donations to be successful, and they’ve given us a list of most needed items. You can find the items needed here.” 5:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Talk & Book Signing: Coney Island 40 Years: Photographer Harvey Stein discusses the work in his book, Coney Island 40 Years. Starts at 6 p.m. at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Free.  Arrive from 5-6 p.m. to check out the awesome Coney Island exhibit before the talk.
  • Take a tour of MakeHartford, Show & Tell about your current project, hang out with the String Thing group. 6-9 p.m. at MakeHartford, 30 Arbor Street.

April 2

  • First Thursday After Hours: every month the Wadsworth Atheneum hosts a little party. Check out the museum, listen to music, take a tour, and make some art. This is from 5-8 p.m. Admission is $5. At 8, they will be screening Wild, so stick around for that.
  • Open reception at the Pump House Gallery for Resounding Images: 25th Anniversary of Judy Dworin Performance Project. This starts at 6 p.m. The exhibit runs through May 21. The Pump House Gallery is located in Bushnell Park.
  • Poet Mark Doty will be reading from his new book Deep Lane as part of the Cardin Series on the University of Hartford campus. This free, public event will take place in Wilde Auditorium at the Harry Jack Gray Center. 6-9 p.m.

Public Hearing: Capital Improvement Program Budget

By , March 23, 2015 6:52 am

On Tuesday, March 24, the public can weigh in before the Planning & Zoning Commission on the proposed 5-year Capital Improvement Program budget. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. in the Plaza Level Conference Room at 260 Constitution Plaza.

CIP FY16.3.19.15(rev)

CIP Descriptions 2015-2016 3 19 15

 

Zoning: How Much is Too Much?

By , March 6, 2015 7:35 am

If the Planning, Economic, Development and Housing Committee gives it a thumbs’ up, it looks like Mayor Segarra’s reappointment of Sandra Bobowski to the Planning & Zoning Commission will pass on through Court of Common Council.

This will extend the Terry Road resident’s tenure on the PZC from twenty years to 24.

The push for her reappointment following such a long tenure gives the impression that no potential commissioners are lining up for service, but that is inaccurate. Continue reading 'Zoning: How Much is Too Much?'»

Stadium to Return to Planning and Zoning, Again

By , December 11, 2014 1:21 pm

After two days of meetings — with the first lasting 7.5 hours — it was decided that the developer for Downtown North would tinker with the plan and resubmit that to the Planning and Zoning Commission. It is expected that this more detailed plan will return to the commission in late December or early January of next year and be voted on at that time.

Sparks from the Stadium: Six Months In

By , December 9, 2014 11:30 am

Street Closure

Monday night, City Council adopted three resolutions that would change three streets in Hartford, entirely to accommodate the planned baseball stadium. Councilperson Deutsch and MacDonald were the only to vote “no” on all three of these items.

What does this mean for Downtown North?

The width of Pleasant Street will be reduced by five feet for a stretch of 850 feet.

The section of Trumbull Street between Market and Main will be moved 85 feet south.

Windsor Street, between Trumbull and Pleasant, will be closed off. That’s not just during construction — that’s permanent. Seen as one of the safer north-south routes for cyclists, this closure will create some inconvenience for bicycle commuters and other street users.

Nearby Ann Uccello Street became a cul-de-sac in 2013, as did Flower Street (Asylum Hill and Frog Hollow) last year. The latter was closed for reasons related to the CTfastrak; the former, apparently, happened with little fanfare. The closed segment of Ann Uccello Street is in the general Downtown North area. Continue reading 'Sparks from the Stadium: Six Months In'»

No Position from Neighborhood Group on 68 Scarborough

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By , December 4, 2014 9:00 am

Not wholly unexpected, the West End Civic Association officially backed out of any involvement in the attempt by some to evict a family from its 68 Scarborough Street home. The organization’s official message:

The WECA Board feels unable to take a position, given the legal complexities and ambiguities in the zoning regulations, around the issues on 68 Scarborough Street.

WECA has the ability to recommend policy to city officials, boards, and commissions, but is not the entity that directly determines policy. In its message, it said the group has neither the expertise nor the authority to handle this matter.

What happens next? Put the City of Hartford’s Planning and Zoning Commission meetings on your calendar. With or without neighborhood group recommendations, they are the ones with the expertise and authority to, as they say, address the legal complexities and ambiguities in zoning regulations.

 

Family Faces Eviction from West End Home, Despite Paying Mortgage on Time

By , November 20, 2014 12:00 pm

Interracial marriage was not permitted in many states during the early 1960′s. In fact, anti-miscegenation laws existed in the majority of the United States through the middle of the last century, allowing for racism to dictate the nature of marital and intimate relationships. The Supreme Court struck down those laws in 1967.

A few years later, the push for same-sex marriage began. Again, hateful legislation defined marriage in a way that includes some, while excluding others. It took a few decades for this movement to take hold, and there has been much backlash along the way, as one can witness through the enactment of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 and the incessant verbal diarrhea from pundits. In 2010, one state began to fight against the federal government’s restrictive definition of marriage. Many others followed. Same-sex couples can not be legally married in the entirety of the United States yet, but there is no doubt that opinion has shifted toward that happening eventually.

Sometimes the law is wrong. When it is wrong, we are obligated to recognize that and change it. These are, after all, civil laws, not God’s laws.

Hartford

The West End is currently looking at what appears to be an outmoded law:

The purpose of the R-8 district in the city is to provide for and protect single-family residences sited on a lot having a minimum area of twelve thousand (12,000) square feet. The R-8 district provisions encourage the future development of these very low density residential areas for primarily residential purposes by prohibiting conversions, roomers, most institutional uses and all business uses.

On the surface, this might look sensible. Who wants factories or prisons in her backyard? Zoning can be useful in that way.

All of Scarborough Street is zoned for R-8 use (see above). The language is seemingly vague. What does “primarily residential purposes” mean? On this street, in the same zone, a property is owned by the University of Connecticut. In an article the Courant ran on this, there was no mention of neighborhood opposition to what is used as a place for donor events. The Wadsworth Atheneum owns a property on the street. So does Jumoke Academy. Two properties are owned by trustees, another is a land trust. There are two churches operating on Scarborough Street. This leaves 21 other properties, one of which has been on the market for several years.

The issue at hand is 68 Scarborough Street. Continue reading 'Family Faces Eviction from West End Home, Despite Paying Mortgage on Time'»

Constant Change of Plans for City Council and Committee

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By , October 27, 2014 8:33 am

A flurry of emails have been sent in recent days for City Council and committee meetings tonight:

Agenda Council Meeting October 27, 2014

Continue reading 'Constant Change of Plans for City Council and Committee'»

Random Facts from Open Data: Zones

By , September 29, 2014 8:23 am

Until last week, zoning regulations did not permit a stadium in the B-1 district (Downtown Development District), the area the covers most of Downtown.

If City officials had met for over a year discussing the possibility of a baseball stadium when one had not been allowed where they were seeking to build it, one might ask what else is or is not allowed in different sections of Hartford.

At the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting where this matter was being discussed, there was also confusion about if a brewery — one of the proposed items for the Downtown North re-development project — would be permitted in this area.

Package stores are allowed, as evidenced by the existence of Spiritus Wines. There is no shortage of bars — see Allyn Street, Union Place, Asylum Street, and Ann Uccello Street. There are restaurants that serve beer and wine, along with the hard stuff.

But a brewery is different. There is manufacturing, not just serving or selling. This introduces the question of scale. Would the beverages brewed on site be only available for retail, or would larger, wholesale orders be filled?

The Planning & Zoning Commission defines brew pub as:

any building where beer is manufactured, stored, and bottled, with retail sale of alcoholic liquor to be consumed on the premises with or without the sale of food, with retail sale of sealed bottles or other sealed containers of beer brewed on such premises for consumption off the premises, and with wholesale sales of sealed bottles or other sealed containers of beer brewed on such premises, and as otherwise defined and regulated by the Liquor Control Act of the general statutes.

A former restriction on brew pubs in this area required that manufactured beverages be consumed on site only, and that the production area be no more than 2000SF.

This is no longer the case. What had been allowed in B-1 is also permitted in I-2 (Industrial District, mostly North Meadows and South Meadows), C-1 (Commercial District), and B-2 (Downtown Perimeter District). While a brew pub may exist in B-1, it requires a special permit.

Where, then, did the rumors come from that a brew pub would not be permitted in Downtown? Likely an outdated document found in the City website.

Get in the Zone for Economic Development

Nobody is arguing that Hartford does not need to diversify its types of employment. We can’t and shouldn’t all be working for insurance companies and nail salons. But, some have questioned if the proposed types of development in Downtown North fits Hartford’s needs. What could we have besides or instead of  a minor league baseball stadium? Continue reading 'Random Facts from Open Data: Zones'»

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