Tabor Drive

Scenic Roads Advisory Committee

20% by 2010

Open Space Advisories

Invasive Species Project

 

Tabor Drive
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.

Town of Branford Parcel Map (Tabor Drive)
   
  New England Estates Documents (March 2007)
   
    Tabor Plan (February 2007)
   
    Residential Demographic Multipliers, Estimates of the Occupants of New Housing (June 2006)
   
    Fuss & O'Neil Report (February 2005)
     
    Sample Location Plan (March 2007)



146 and 77 Scenic Roads Advisory Committee
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 River.


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.

Click 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 set-aside.


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 sulldaddy@yahoo.com.