I am writing in favor of the Campbell Grain Development project. Just the facts: There will be 82 units, with 75 percent considered affordable housing based on the AMI (area median income) of residents in the New London County region. Forty-seven percent of Stonington residents would qualify for the non-market value units. Currently only 6 percent of housing in Stonington is considered affordable. There will be four studio, 35 one-bedroom, 31 two-bedroom and 12 three-bedroom units. With only 12 three-bedroom units, this should not create an undue burden on the Stonington school system.
Also, enrollment in the school system has dropped 25 percent since 2008. There will be 92 parking spaces with several in a first-level garage and others will be ground-level on the property. The rental units begin on the second level 17 feet above the flood plain. A professional traffic study was done for this project. The estimated increase in traffic due to the development is 33 trips during the morning peak and 35 during the evening peak. Not a staggering increase. The Police Commission reviewed the traffic plan and approved it. There will also be several upgrades made to the area around Coggswell Street such as realigning the crosswalk for a shorter and safer way to cross Route 1.
The tax revenue to the town for the first 10 years will be $60,000 per year. Revenue each year after the 10-year abatement period is projected to be in the neighborhood of $695,000 per year. Currently the town receives approximately $3,000 per year in tax revenue from this parcel of land.
Remember, there is no cost to the town for this project. The economic impact from this project is expected to be substantial. One-hundred and twenty-two new and indirect jobs will inject approximately $17.9 million in induced activity to help the local economy. Please take the time to go the developer’s website (Winn Corporation) to review all aspects of the development plan in more detail.
This plan has been well-thought-out over 14 months and has been granted approval by all of the applicable town agencies and commissions. So I am voting “no” on Oct. 5 at the special referendum to NOT overturn the town meeting decision and to grant the requested tax abatement to the developers for this project.