Zoning dispute drags on between downtown group and South End developers

February 8, 2012 by  

The battle rages on over controversial plans for a proposed 260,000-square-foot waterfront hotel in the South End of Stamford. The Downtown Special Services District (DSSD) and the developer of Harbor Point, Building and Land Technology, exchanged a war of words at a recent meeting at Turn River Middle School.

About 400 citizens were on hand to listen to the bickering between the two sides. The issue at hand is whether a 4,580 square-foot ballroom planned for the hotel violates a 2007 zoning regulation. The regulation forbids banquet facilities or convention centers in South End hotels.

South End resident John Wooten was one of several citizens who’d like to see the redevelopment project move forward. Those in favor of the hotel project pointed out that the project would create a number much needed jobs in the area.

Ardent boaters upset about the demolition of one of the region’s largest working boatyards and union construction workers claiming that BLT failed to hire local workers, were among those opposed to doing the developer any special favors.

DSSD president Sandy Goldstein said no developer should be exempt from the rules:
“Either we all play by the same zoning rules or the rules should apply to no one,” she added.
In the end those against granting the developer a zoning exception outnumbered those in favor of bending the rules.

The public hearing is scheduled to pick up where it left on Monday, March 5 at Turn of River Middle School. Brochure printers may be kept busy running off brochures about the new Stamford hotel once the two sides resolve their dispute.