Editor's Note: This letter was written on Feb. 16 to Mayor Daniel T. Drew and members of the City of Middletown Planning and Zoning Commission and Planner William Warner.
Dear Mayor Drew:
I am writing in opposition to developer Robert Landino’s Centerplan proposed zoning change and in support of the zoning change proposed by Ed McKeon.
I have come to know and love our city over the past 40 years. I first served here as a member of the Middlesex County Mental Health Council. I was the lead planner for the Middlesex County portion of the State of Connecticut Drug Abuse Prevention Plan in 1973 and I served on the Boards of Connecticut Legal Services and
I lived on Maple Shade Road for a number of years in the 1980s, owned a home on Ridge Road for many years and now live in the North End on High Street.
My wife, Kathleen Sheehan Watanabe and I recently moved into the Sheehan family home in advance of our retirement. Luci Bartolotta and Charles Sheehan purchased this home form the Camp family over 60 years ago.. Kathy grew up here and outlined her love and the culture of this neighborhood in her letter to you last week.
I work here as well. I am a former Executive Director of The Connection, Inc. and grant writer and administrator at the Community Health Center. I have been in private practice as a psychotherapist with an office on College Street for over 20 years.
I note these connections to demonstrate my involvement in and to our fine city.
Many of the opponents to this proposed plan of development have articulated in great detail the historic, cultural and charming character of this neighborhood. It is abundantly clear that the Centerplan proposal, if developed, would destroy an historic and cultural gem in our city forever.
Even more appalling is that we have vacant and underutilized business properties on Main Street. There is obviously no need for this strip mall.
One wonders why you, Mr. Warner and you, Mayor Drew are so adamant in your support of this aberration? You have received a plethora of negative responses from your citizenry. These protests give detailed reasons for rejecting this development. This is a moment in time when you need to stand up and vote for what is best for the people, not what is good for corporations.
The tax base will not gain in real terms if a neighborhood and the charming character of our city is destroyed and cannot be replaced and while Main Street still wants for viable businesses.
All one has to do, like in the Watergate scandal movie, ’All the President’s Men’ is “follow the money.” This deal stinks.
Do the right thing for the residents of Middletown.
Vote down the Centerplan zoning change.
P. Tom Sylvester