Scenic Roads Advisory
20% by 2010
Open Space Advisories
The 77 acre 48-86 Tabor Drive property lies to the north
of the Town landfill between Tabor Drive and Pine Orchard
Rd. south of the Amtrak line (see location map). It
was for many years a gravel pit. In 2002 and 2003, New
England Estates, a development consortium, applied twice
to the Planning & Zoning Commission for approval of
a multi-family residential development on the site.
Both applications were denied by the Planning & Zoning
Commission. In 2003, the Town's Board of Selectmen,
Board of Finance and Representative Town Meeting voted
to acquire the property by eminent domain, voicing a
concern about the consequences of placing a residential
development on a site that was subject to possible present
and future contamination by materials in the landfill,
and stating that the Town had valid municipal uses for
the property (playing fields, future cemetery space,
public works facility).
Although the Town did acquire the property by eminent
domain, suits were filed challenging the stated value
of the property and claiming injury of the developers
by the action of the Town. The RTM is now being asked
to consider a settlement of those cases that would return
the property to the developer in exchange for a number
of considerations.The attorney for New England Estates
submitted a selection of documents to the RTM committees
that he says support the New England Estates argument
that the Town should agree to the proposed settlement.
Those documents were made available to the public by
the RTM with the permission of the New England Estates
attorney and are posted here for the public's information.
146 and 77 Scenic Roads Advisory
This committee was established to provide oversight
in maintaining the qualities of Route 146 in Branford
and Route 77 in Guilford. Both roads were designated
"Scenic Roads" by the Connecticut legislature in 1987.
In December of 1996, a Corridor Management Plan was
developed by the Connecticut Department of Transportation
and a committee composed of members from both towns.
The Committee continues to oversee activities on the
road, to preserve their scenic qualities, to enhance
communication between Branford and Guild ford and the
Department of Transportation, and to provide advice
to the various boards and commissions of the towns.
Copies of the Routes 146 and 77 Corridor Management
Plan can be reviewed at the Planning Zoning Department.
In 1999, the Scenic Roads Advisory Committee applied
for and subsequently obtained a grant of over $250,000
for improvements to the area along the Branford River
at Montowese Street on Route 146, now called the Branford
River Gateway. As a result, sidewalks in the area were
replaced and extended, a new pull off was established
along the river, east of Montowese Street and extensive
planting of the area with native shrubs was accomplished.
All of these improvements were designed to emphasize
the natural setting adjacent to the beautiful 40 acre
salt marsh flushed by the strong tidal flow of the Branford
20% by 2010
In 2005, the Conservation and Environment Commission
voted unanimously to work with citizens of Branford,
the Board of Selectmen and the RTM to enlist Branford
in the 20% by 2010 Clean Energy Campaign. This statewide
campaign is sponsored by the CT Clean Energy Fund and
SmartPower, a partnership whose purpose is to encourage
and assist communities in the purchase and support of
clean energy. In the 20% by 2010 campaign, a municipality
that commits to getting 20% of its electricity from
renewable sources by 2010 becomes eligible to receive
a free solar electricity generating system for every
100 residential or business accounts that sign up to
get 100% of their electricity from renewable sources.
Signing up for the 50% option counts as half an account.
The Commission's effort, spearheaded by Commissioner
Lindsay Mathews, resulted in Branford enlisting in the
campaign in March 2005, becoming the 16th Connecticut
community to join. Because more than 100 accounts had
already signed up for renewable electricity by the time
that it joined the campaign, Branford became the eleventh
Clean Energy Community in the State, qualifying for
its first free 2 kilowatt solar system from the CT Clean
Energy Fund, a technology valued at approximately $20,000.
As more residents and businesses sign up for the program,
the Town will receive an additional 2 kilowatt system
for every 100 additional enrollees. Through this program,
citizen dollars pay for electricity production from
cleaner, renewable sources. Forms to enroll are available
in the Town Hall entryway, at Blackstone Memorial Library
and at Willoughby Wallace Library.
One of the requirements of participation in the 20%
by 2010 Clean Energy Campaign is that participating
towns must establish a Clean Energy Task Force to meet
the goals of the program and to begin working with the
CT Clean Energy Fund to plan the installation of the
solar panels. In September 2006, First Selectwoman Cheryl
Morris appointed the nine-member Task Force to work
together on the siting and installation of our solar
panels and to find ways for the Town to conserve energy
and maximize the use of renewable sources of electricity.
here for up-to-date information about Branford's
enrollments in the 20% by 2010 Clean Energy Campaign.
Open Space Advisories
One of the means by which the Town increases its open
space system is by requiring that residential subdivisions
set aside at least 10% of the area being subdivided
as open space. This open space area can be used for
passive recreation, protection of environmental resources,
or active recreation. In accordance with the Town's
Subdivision Regulations, the Conservation and Environment
Commission first evaluates the property being subdivided.
The Commission then advises the Planning and Zoning
Commission about environmentally important resources
on or adjacent to the subdivided property that could
be appropriately designated as open space. Finally,
the commission recommends a monitor for the open space
Invasive Species Project
Our current project is focused on eliminating the invasive
species, Winged Euonymous (burning bush), from the Supply
Ponds. Led by Commissioner Chris "Sully" Sullivan who
is the Project Leader, Branford volunteers have committed
to cutting an acre of Euonymous a year in this area.
Herbicide will be applied to the cut stumps and teams
will monitor and hand pull young plants during the year
before moving on to the next acre. Once the Euonymous
has been cut back and the seed bank depleted, native
plants should be able to regrow in the understory and
improve the status of the Supply Ponds forest. Anyone
who would like to join us can contact Sully at firstname.lastname@example.org.