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Proposed Castle Hill Development Is Wrong For Newtown



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To the Editor:

This cluster housing development proposed for 20 Castle Hill is not in the best interest of our town for many reasons. The impact to Main Street residents and the larger community must be considered. Traffic congestion within the Borough is already an issue. Accessing public buildings like the Booth Library, the Edmond Town Hall, and local businesses can be challenging, irrespective of day or time. During commuting times, our roads are swollen with vehicular traffic causing backups at busy intersections. The Castle Hill development would further exacerbate our traffic issues.

Not only will there be additional vehicles of residents of the housing development but also the service and delivery vehicles coming and going on a daily basis. It is not at all clear how vehicles will enter and exit the development safely to and from Mt Pleasant.

Newtown has always treasured it pastoral history and local landmarks. If this development is approved, the Rochambeau Trail will be discontinued and transferred to the developer. The Trail is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the last undisturbed portion of the Trail in Connecticut. Why are we giving away a historical landmark?

Finally, the town needs a reality check for services needed to support large cluster developments — Fire, Police, Emergency personnel, road maintenance and equipment, and schools. We also need assurance that sewer capacity will not reach its limits and that we do not put undue stresses on our water supply, a sole-source aquifer.

Holly Kocet


A letter from Holly Kocet.
Comments are open. Be civil.
  1. tomj says:

    I have lived in Newtown for over 60 years and this is the first I have ever heard of the Rochambeau Trail. When I checked with the National Park Service and our state only Nationally Historic Site the official records of the Rochambeau Trail administrated by NPS does not travel through this property. If you are arguing it is “Near” the trail then where was the outrage when Big Y was built? The new development on 6 and 25 or even the Starbucks.

    1. cazukowski says:

      I am on the Newtown Bike and Trail Committee and we have been promoting and maintaining this trail for years. It literally goes through the middle of 20/60 Castle Hill Rd., and was added to the register of historic places around 2003: https://npgallery.nps.gov/AssetDetail/NRIS/02001679 . That said, I think nearby development and trail preservation could be compatible, depending on the plan.

  2. rtanner says:

    There are many considerations as it relates to the development of the Castle Hill property as noted. I am supportive of the proposal and to approval process as it is sensitive to concerns being raised. The proposal provides another housing and lifestyle option for long time residents and newcomers with great accessibility to town. The developer is a long time resident with a solid reputation and the best interest of town at heart. It is not wise to make gross assumptions but I would think it would be a net positive (will attract empty nesters) to the tax base versus incremental town costs required. Net positive tax base growth supports continued investment in our great school system. Working in partnership with historical groups, bike and trails, the borough and others could actually add another great part of our amazing town.

    1. wingeey says:

      Residential development does not result in net positive revenue for towns. For every dollar in revenue it generates, it results in $1.15 for cost of services to the town. https://farmlandinfo.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/09/AFT_COCS_Making_the_Case_Final.pdf

  3. wayfair22 says:

    People have been protesting new developments since I’ve lived her the past 45 years. What’s a little hypocritical is that more than likely a high percentage of those objecting live in newer developments that others protested years ago. If they had stopped development, you wouldn’t live here. My husband has lived in Newtown his whole life and was never aware of the Rochambeau Trail. I believe I read that the developer is willing to preserve the trail so not sure what the protests are about. Newtown has changed a great deal but I still consider it a great place to live. Stop protesting every new development and help Newtown to welcome new people to enjoy our town. The only guaranteed way to stop development is to buy the land.

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