Category: planning & zoning

Alienated Public Demands a Voice in City Hall

By , July 23, 2014 8:06 am

from 21 July 2014 march

From the moment Mayor Segarra stood in front of City Hall to announce his plan to relocate the New Britain Rock Cats to Hartford on the public dime, there have been unanswered questions:

How exactly would this (fully or partially) publicly-funded private business provide true economic development for the city?  How many full time, living wage jobs would this create for residents of Hartford? Why were Hartford voters and residents excluded from the conversation until this was declared a “done deal” by the mayor? Why build in this location instead of at the existing Dillon Stadium near Colt Park? Why were key stakeholders in this area omitted from the secret dealings, finding out only after word of the deal reached the media? Why was a stadium not included in the Downtown North Plan and why is this able to displace the types of developments, like mixed-use residential, that had been discussed with residents for months? What kind of environmental studies have been done and how would the expected increase in traffic of this area impact Hartford’s already high asthma rates? Why did the mayor in his press release announcing that he wanted the stadium relocation agreement item withdrawn from the City Council agenda, fail to indicate that he would be making no effort to withdraw the related resolution for City purchase of 271 and 273 Windsor Street, a 2.08 acre vacant parcel considered necessary for the stadium development, a parcel that would cost the City of Hartford $1.7M? 

Mary Sanders of Hartford

The meetings of people in opposition to the so-called “done deal” began back in June, with various groups gathering across Hartford. These smaller discussions merged after the first round of meetings happening over one weekend. Residents went from private living rooms to a centrally-located cultural space. Meetings went on during World Cup games, during the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz, during a time of year when many are away on vacation. Those who are baseball fans have said they do not appreciate games being played when it comes to politics and tax dollars. Continue reading 'Alienated Public Demands a Voice in City Hall'»

Craving Civic Meetings?

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By , July 15, 2014 1:07 pm

If it’s listed here, it’s open to the public. You do not have to speak or know anything about what is going on to attend.

July 15: Frog Hollow NRZ Meeting at 5pm in The Lyceum on Lawrence Street. Agenda includes discussion of Broad Street streetscape improvements, the future of the Hartford Public Library’s Park Branch, proposal to relocate the Monument to the Puerto Rican Family, and an allegedly illegal driveway.

July 16: The Historic Commissions will meet at 4pm at 260 Constitution Plaza (plaza level conference room).

July 17: Learn about where the Hartford Public Library’s Park Branch (Park and Babcock) may be relocated and provide input to officials. The meeting will be held at the Park Branch of the library at 5pm.

July 17: The Hartford 2000 board meeting will include an update from Rex Fowler on the proposed downtown supermarket. This will occur during the 5:30-8pm meeting at CREC, 111 Charter Oak Avenue.

July 21: A public hearing will be held directly before the City Council meeting. The public hearing begins at 6pm. Arrive early to sign up to speak. This is held in Council Chambers in the municipal building/City Hall. (One of the stadium resolutions — #10 from the 6/19/14 agenda — has been withdrawn, but the other remains)

July 22: Planning and Zoning Commission meets at 5pm in the plaza level conference room at 260 Constitution Plaza.

Proposed Crosswalks, Sharrows, and Bike Lanes That May Happen During Your Lifetime

By , May 29, 2014 3:36 pm

The area of State House Square that had been proposed to change into a lane for buses.

With so little useful information traveling between City Hall and the general public, it is easy to get the impression that projects have stalled when that’s hardly the case. Continue reading 'Proposed Crosswalks, Sharrows, and Bike Lanes That May Happen During Your Lifetime'»

Proposed Changes to Sigourney and Capitol Area Focus of Public Meeting

By , May 7, 2014 10:08 pm

Part of the proposed changes to Sigourney Street area

Most interesting about the public meeting attended by a dozen people tonight was the total omission of Senator Fonfara’s bold move to re-open Flower Street. His provision, which was voted through by State Senate and House on Tuesday night as part of a bond package, states that the north-south street which runs parallel to Sigourney and Broad, must remain open to vehicular traffic for a minimum of twenty hours each day. Currently, the street is barricaded in the middle, not allowing even emergency vehicles through.

The public meeting focused on the initial design phase of streetscaping around what will be the Sigourney Street New Britain-to-Hartford Busway station, with changes mostly planned for areas at and south of that platform. The presentation and conversation covered potential changes elsewhere in Frog Hollow, including along Capitol Avenue and Broad Street.

City of Hartford, TPA Design Group, Greater Hartford Transit District, and CTfastrak/CT DOT were all at the table, with GHTD and TPA leading most of the presentation. As hopeful as anyone wants to be about change to what currently showcases poor design and maintenance, the cynicism that comes with years of seeing people fall through on promises was evident in public discussion. For some, it seemed like after the DOT presented designs, the City came forward with designs for the same areas. Are we spending money on duplicate services? Who takes the lead? What falls to the side? In this case, we learned that the DOT has no money marked for Capitol Avenue streetscape improvements; the City is leading all of that. Continue reading 'Proposed Changes to Sigourney and Capitol Area Focus of Public Meeting'»

Engaging the Public on Transportation and Zoning

By , February 28, 2014 9:28 am


Hartford hosted zoning and transportation meetings this week as one agency launches a new plan and the other moves toward refining regulations.

DOT gives quick explanation of TransformCT at the Lyceum

The Zoning 101 event was presented by Hartford 2000 — the coalition of Neighborhood Revitalization Zones — and the City of Hartford’s Department of Development Services. Actors Cindy Martinez and Taneisha Duggan from HartBeat Ensemble were in the audience at the Hartford Public Library, adding drama to liven up what is often, but does not have to be, presented as a dull topic. All seemed to agree that HartBeat’s involvement was the strong point of the evening.

As the presentation moved along, there was frustration when City of Hartford employees were not answering resident questions. This was intentional at first, as someone’s questions were deferred from middle to the end of the planned presentation. Later, it seemed that people were talking past each other.

Local activist Hyacinth Yennie asked “What about the enforcement? … that’s the most critical of all.” The City employees agreed, but gave no hard answer about how zoning regulations would be enforced.

Mary Ricker Pelletier wanted to know who is on the team that is making the zoning changes. She received no response.

Ricker Pelletier commented that residents are often asked for input at meeting after meeting, but are not involved or informed when compromises are made. She asked, “What is the compromise process?” She was told that people could go to the new zoning website to see how people could be involved. Continue reading 'Engaging the Public on Transportation and Zoning'»

Grace Wins

By , September 13, 2013 2:22 pm

The City of Hartford does not intend to close the doors on the food pantry operated out of the Grace Seventh-Day Adventist Church in the West End. Jeff Cohen reports that the City has found no zoning violation. Zoning was among the complaints issued by WECA against the food pantry. The church has operated this food pantry for years.

Hookah and Pot on the PZC Agenda

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By , August 11, 2013 3:30 pm

The Planning and Zoning Commission is going to be discussing hookah lounges and medical marijuana dispensaries at Tuesday evening’s meeting.

If you feel one way or another about those things, you might want to show up early so you can sign up and speak up.

The meeting begins at 5pm in the conference room at 260 Constitution Plaza on August 13, 2013.

Fueling Station Proposal Referred to PZC

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By , January 15, 2013 3:16 pm

The controversial proposal to create a “fueling station” next to the Stop & Shop in Parkville was referred by City Council to the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Planning and Economic Development Committee.

There will be a hearing at the January 22, 2013 meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission. This meeting will begin at 5pm in the Plaza Level Conference Room at 260 Constitution Plaza.

Eyesore Declined

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By , December 13, 2012 9:48 pm

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.

Billboard Proposal Does Not Account for Busway

By , December 11, 2012 9:57 am

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'»

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