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April 21, 2019  |  

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Always Put Community First

Published April 25, 2018

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Mark Dilungo recently proposed cramming more than 400 units of rental housing on Sperry Lane and, following the project’s denial by the Planning & Zoning Commission, asked residents who “has the town’s best interest in mind?” (April 12 letter “The Town’s Best Interest”).

In my 17 years as mayor, I have always put our community first. As a result, and especially during the last two elections, many former supporters who didn’t get jobs or appointments they wanted opposed me. This is no different. Mark Dilungo has invested millions into making our community a better place, but now he’s crying foul because he didn’t get his way this one time.

The incredibly dense proposal, which threatened to overdevelop the area, drag down home prices, and tax the local ecosystem, was approximately four times larger than Messina Drive, where a police substation and cameras were installed to beef up security. It was also inconsistent with the rural character of the “R5” zone in which it was proposed, which calls for one-acre lots.

Not only did I oppose this project, but our zoning attorney and police and fire chiefs expressed concerns about it. During public hearings, District Three Town Council member Lou Pacelli opposed it along with many residents. Three zoning commission members ultimately voted against the project, which would have been the largest in the town’s history.

Mr. Dilungo has touted the tax benefits of this project and is threatening to propose an “affordable” housing project in its place. Although he means it to be a threat, I want to clarify that we welcome all housing types in our community, so long as they comply with our regulations. Mr. Dilungo may think otherwise, but I am fighting to protect our community’s best interests, which is what I was elected to do.

Mayor Joseph Maturo, Jr.
East Haven

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