Ample space for a bike lane and other street improvements on Bartholomew Avenue. Pics in this article were all taken in the middle of a regular workday.
If you’ve been to one planning workshop, you’ve been to nearly them all. Typically, these are held in a meeting room with no windows. To an extent, we get why this happens. We live in a sedentary society that bristles at even temporary discomfort. That, and everyone always wants to use Powerpoint.
But is this the best way to solicit input from those who are using the streets, parks, and buildings under discussion for redesign? Barring weather extremes where participants might get heat stroke or frostbite, could we reconsider at least some of these venues? (more…)
A number of new signs have been popping up in and around downtown.
The one above is mounted on the I-91 pedestrian/cyclist bridge that connects Riverside Park with the northern section of Downtown. The vibrant signs (yes, more than one) invite passersby to use the bridge, which has come off as intimidating to some. The signs’ creator has worked on murals throughout the city; you can see some of her other work on the back of the Goodyear building. (more…)
Like ’em or not, there have been a lot of visible changes to Downtown in recent months. The better ones involve seasonal graffiti, ponies, and being able to get coffee on the weekend from places that are neither Dunkin’ Donuts nor Starbucks. (more…)
Hartford’s Democratic Town Committee endorsed exactly zero women in 2011. That Cynthia Jennings served on City Council beginning in 2012 was thanks to her affiliation with the Working Families Party.
The last four years must have sent a message. This time around, the Democrats, Working Families, and Republicans each endorsed two women on their respective slates; ultimately, voters opted for two newcomers,Wildaliz Bermudez and Glendowlyn Thames, along with incumbent Cynthia Jennings and rJo Winch, who previously served on City Council, but not during the current term.
Of the four women, Ms. Bermudez is also coming in as the first Latina member of City Council since the previous was elected in 1999.
Though new to this position, Bermudez is not new to Hartford or City Hall. She was moved to run out of “frustration” with “fighting things from the periphery,” namely, the baseball stadium that is currently being erected in Downtown. (more…)
That was the first question asked by an audience member, before the official time for questions began — before anything really began — at the Business for Downtown Hartford’s “Candid Conversations” event. (more…)
Red denotes temporary closure. Purple marks the permanent closure of this portion to motorists.
Beginning on April 17th, the segment of Windsor Street between Pleasant and Trumbull will be permanently closed.
The City of Hartford says that this will initially be used as a construction staging area for the stadium. Later, at an unspecified time, this will be re-opened to pedestrians and cyclists for what officials are calling “Windsor Walk.” (more…)
As dirt was piled on top of frozen ground, destined to be “broken” for a project that had been declared done before any consultation with the public, and as distraction-upon-distraction was thrown at residents on an evening utterly overloaded with City meetings, a group of young(ish) professionals were told they do not belong here.
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? (more…)