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Carrot Patch, Round Two

Day care issue will be back before the Planning and Zoning Commission again in two more weeks

Tuesday night, members of the public got a chance to speak out on a proposed day care center at 2858 Whitney Ave.   The May 10th hearing was a continuation of a session .

Carrot Patch owner Suzanne Miller changed her application to add one parking space for a total of four plus one handicapped spot, along with additional traffic markings and landscape improvements.   

Her attorney, Joan Molloy, presented information that showing that it’s rare for more than two families to be dropping off children in one five-minute period at the current Carrot Patch site on Johnson Road, although there are rare times when four or five overlap.

Traffic continues to be the critics’ main concern, especially those living in the Charlton Hill condominiums, which sit behind the site and would share a private driveway. The condominium association hired Traffic Engineer David Spear, who told the commission that his traffic study shows much more traffic at peak time than the one conducted by Miller’s expert, James Bubaris.  

Spear also pointed out that, “based on their own data,” there would be times when the number of Carrot Patch families’ cars would exceed the number of spaces.   He remains concerned about whether larger vehicles, including fire trucks or garbage trucks, would have enough room to turn around, he said.

The 30 or so people who spoke were about equally divided for and against the application. Supporters praised Miller and her staff for offering high quality, affordable day care and providing employment for local residents. Many, like parent Lawrence Brancazio, stressed the conscientiousness of the center’s staff, emphasizing that there are “no wandering children,” and that parents are very careful when traveling to and from the center.  

Parent Jean Marie Sanchez noted that town police and fire officials, “all the entities which we entrust with our safety,” have no objections to the plan.  

One supporter mentioned the “NIMBY” (“Not In My Back Yard) syndrome. Opponents, though, frequently complimented Miller despite their criticism of the site.  

“No one is opposed to a day care in Hamden,” began Charlton Hill attorney Geoffrey Einhorn, but “this has to do with whether it meet the standards of a special permit.”

Charlton Hill resident Bill Baskett described himself as “experienced” (as opposed to “older”), saying his experience getting in and out of the Charlton Hill road is “scary at times.”   And it often takes longer than parents plan to drop off children, he said -- “undo the galoshes, hang up the clothes, put things in the cubbies... Grandpas know things like that.”  

Some opponents said they did not have a chance to review the latest site plan and would wait to speak until the next meeting.   The public hearing will continue on Tuesday, May 24.

The Commission also:

  • Approved the location of a Used Vehicle Sales lot at 1822 State St.; and 

 

  • Approved a Site Plan for 60 Skiff Street.  


Owners of the Hometown Liquors store, formerly located in the Hamden Mart, plan to move the store into the small plaza.   They will take up three spaces: the former “More Than Nuts;” the former  “Tommy K’s Vitamins,” and the one currently occupied by Avanti Hair Design.  

The salon is expected to move to a corner unit in the same plaza, that was home to the recently-closed Elm City Jewelers.  

Vice-Chairwoman Ann Altman related that she’d recently gone to the former Hometown location to buy a bottle of wine and, “the store wasn’t where I thought it was.”

Altman introduced the motion to approve the plan for what she called a “much needed,” liquor store at 60 Skiff… although she did offer to recuse herself from the vote.  

Suzanne M. Miller May 12, 2011 at 03:29 PM
As the applicant for the new Carrot Patch early learning center site, I'd like to add a brief comment just for the sake of clarity. The four regular and one handicapped parking spaces referred to in the article are new spaces added near the drop off circle. The site would also provide parking that enters on a lower level of the building, as well as additional parking spaces behind the Sleeping Giant Book and Toy Store.

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