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Letter to the Editor: Change Needed at Haddam Planning & Zoning

The views stated here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of this newspaper. We welcome supporting or opposing views on any published item. Received October 10, 2023.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen some beloved stores close, and the mix of businesses in Higganum Center has become less family-friendly.  We have also seen two Dollar General stores open in Haddam, despite widespread public opposition.

The problems related to this are many—the closing of Haddam Elementary School and loss of vitality resulting from that, the pandemic, a beloved grocery store owner leaving town– but another key factor in all this is our failure, as a town, to adequately plan and craft regulations that can help us develop the type of community we want.

Haddam’s Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) has canceled over half of its meetings in the last year. These meetings should have been spent gathering public input, doing research, and developing the regulations that will allow the type of smart development our community seeks– while discouraging what we don’t. Lack of planning and hard work by our P&Z is a serious problem for our community.

I’ll be the first to say I’m excited about some potentially good things coming to Haddam and Higganum. Smart, creative development at Scovil Hoe, the ongoing creation of a town park in Higganum Cove and the potential to move town civic services and family-friendly playgrounds into the former Haddam Elementary School all have great potential– IF we do it right. We need new Planning and Zoning Commission members who will meet regularly, work hard and engage in the sort of planning necessary to help bring us success. I’ll be voting for new members and for change— Mike Karam, Tim Teran and Scott Brookes for P&Z in November.

Peter Baird, Haddam

 

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