Saturday, August 09, 2008

The secondary impacts of the proposed ND

With a vote scheduled for the Town Manager's performance on Tuesday, I feel I need to begin explaining my concerns.

I begin with the failure of anyone* (particularly the town's Chief Executive**) to address a glaring issue with the proposed north end development... even after I spoke directly to this issue.

The issue is the "secondary impact" of the proposed development.

Specifically, the developer expected approximately ten school-aged children to live in the new units. And the developer expected a significant number of their proposed residential units would be sold to existing Cheshire residents.

Based on those two facts, I assert that good judgement would lead anyone to conclude that the "obvious, secondary impacts" (of additional school-aged children in Cheshire) should also be considered for this project. But that never happened. Furthermore, I specifically addressed these "obvious, secondary impacts."
I therefore conclude that the TM and the PZC (collectively) demonstrated poor judgement by either:

1) failing to consider the "obvious, secondary impacts" or
2) being biased supporters of the project who knowingly omitted this aspect of the fiscal impact study in an effort to see the project succeed.

Tim White

* Council, PZC, Planner, Manager... yes, this is the classic situation of finger pointing with questions of "who's in charge?"
** The Council, not PZC, directs the TM. And the Council did not direct the TM to review exclusively the primary impacts of the proposed development. So while it was appropriate for the TM to perform his own fiscal impact study (even using the developers study as his basis), the extent to which the TM reviewed the study was within his discretion. Therefore, I conclude that he took it upon himself to review the study to the extent that he did... and that was inadequate... and IMO, he showed poor judgement in deciding to not address the obvious, secondary impacts of the proposed development.


Anonymous said...

If the North End goes in as planned it will be Section 8 housing within 5-10 years.

Marty Coburn will blame someone else for his stupidity

Anonymous said...

The Town Manager did his own study in order to keep support from the majority party, all who want the mall. The TM only does what he thinks is best and that is supported by the Dem's. He is not a leader, the drivers of this town are the developers and real estate agents.

Anonymous said...

My mother lived in a town in Florida run by the RE business. Thankfully, she moved to the next town over a couple of year back. The town she left has seen home values cut in half over the past year since the overbuilding created a huge bubble, and now they have a huge problem with vacant homes, vandalism, and gangs.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of things to concern townspeople about the proposed north end development. Plenty of blame can be directed at many elected officials and municipal employees. Assuming it is built, and with the current state of the regional and national economy I’d be surprised to see it go up, I suspect residents will soon tire of the same old same old restaurant and big box store formats. There are only so many ways anyone can make a burger on a bun or create a pair of pants or shirts etc. This being said we’ll also wind up being held hostage to traffic so unbelievable most of us will not want to venture out to casually eat out or shop anymore because we’ll be stuck on RT 10 for 30+ minutes just trying to reach I-691 to get out of town.

For some time now the town manager seems to speak about being the CEO of a business instead of being the hired hand for the elected town council. Towns are not and cannot be businesses. It is just wrong to play the game of pretending to be a business. Pretending usually gets you nowhere fast. The TM and TC need to recognize the town they represent is a self contained political subdivision where voters are supposed to have the final say, not a CEO.

Watching from afar as most voters do it is hard to tell who is actually in charge. All too often I hear comments which lead me to believe some, not all TC members are glad to have a salaried TM kind of doing everything and maybe even making decisions which should only be made by the full town council in public with the light of day shining brightly.

So, will the council reward the status quo or will the council want more control which many voters believe is way overdue?

Anonymous said...

Certainly the future of this Town was not looked at closely when the impact study was done. Shame on everyone. It seems that many decisions that have been made lately don't look far enough into the future costs or effects to the Town. A change is needed.

Anonymous said...

The people of Cheshire have been and continue to be poorly served. Cheshire is run by the local developers and realtors who control and influence too many members of our town government.

One can't say it is only the Dems that do their bidding as we have some R's on the P&Z who throw their full support to the developers.

The whole approval of the mall was a sham from the beginning. They showed no concern for the many negative effects and costs to the state and local taxpayers, no concern for the environment and no concern for good government. As we saw from the fact that Marty Cobern had written P&Z's approval before P&Z had even deliberated, showed how money and political influence can corrupt a process that is supposed to be for the good of the citizens and not just for a special few real estate owners and developers.

Now that the damage has been done, the mall may never be built, but the zoning changes will allow low value development that simply continues the Queen St type of sprawl. The chance of developing the Interchange zone for companies that would have a soft impact on the environment, that would retain Cheshire's character and provide high paying jobs is gone forever.