Residents Deserve to Know More
As taxpaying Chester residents, many of us feel we have minimal pertinent information regarding St. Joseph (St. Theresa of Calcutta, Essex) Church’s plans to sell the Parish Center property located at 47 Middlesex Turnpike to affordable housing developers.
Unfortunately, many of us missed the Jan. 31 Planning and Zoning presentation. Since that meeting, many versions and stories have been circulating. Chester residents deserve to know more about this project that will substantially impact our town, our taxes, school system, sewer, police and fire departments, traffic, and St. Joseph’s parishioners.
Is it already sold? How much existing affordable housing is already available in Chester? What do we know about the developers? What is their background and reputation in other areas that they have developed? Do they maintain their properties? It appears Chester’s First Selectwoman and town’s zoning office are involved; if that is true, then Chester residents should also be involved. Perhaps it is a great plan, or perhaps it is not a great fit for Chester; more information is needed. “14 Colonial style buildings” on 3.01 acres?” (“Affordable Housing Proposal Heads to Public Information Session, Jan. 19, 2023) Yikes!
“The Parish said that it had worked with First Selectman Charlene Janecek and the town’s zoning office to find an appropriate buyer for the property (“Affordable Housing Proposal Heads to Public Information Session, Jan. 19, 2023)
“I’ve given it my blessing because I think it’s an ideal use of this property, and it fills [the] requirement that we have affordable housing,” said Janecek. “It’s got to go somewhere in town” (“Affordable Housing Proposal Heads to Public Information Session, Jan. 19, 2023)