Hamden neighbors sound off against Rocky Top development plans

WTNH/Renee Chmiel

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A developer wants to build a new housing complex in an area off Rocky Top Road in Hamden, but some neighbors say it will harm the environment, ruin the neighborhood and may even be dangerous. They believe this will affect all of northern Hamden, not just their immediate area.

Signs on and near Rocky Top Road let passersby know exactly what many residents think about the project. If it goes through there could be 288 apartments on the ridge. That’s right near Debra Finn’s house.

“Now they’ve come up with this proposal that they’ve been working on for 4 years and we’ve had 3 months to fight it,” Finn said.

Finn is one of many neighbors fighting the development. They’ve started a website to get their message out. They say it’s not just the apartments that they oppose but the mining project that would come first.

Related Content: Public hearing over Rocky Top development plans in Hamden

“The silica that will come from the blasting of the trap rock, that could be deadly,” said Finn.

The developer wants to remove nearly 2 million tons of rock from the top of the ridge. That will change the way water flows down into the wetlands. Neighbors fear it will pollute the air for a one-mile radius.

Developer Gary Richetelli of Mountain View Estates tells News 8, “We will do everything we can to preserve the woodsy natural character of the land.”

4 5 hamden 2 Hamden neighbors sound off against Rocky Top development plans
WTNH/Renee Chmiel

“It’s already woody,” said Joseph Samela Jr. of Hamden. “Leave it alone.”

Hamden Mayor Curt Balzano Leng was one of hundreds of people who signed a petition against the project.

“It’s scenic. It’s historic,” he said. “It would take 70,000 truck loads of stone to prepare the site.”

Rocky Top Road is so narrow it used to be a one way street.

The project falls under state statute 8-30g, since 30 percent of it will be affordable housing. That also will make it harder for Hamden to turn the project down.

“It has nothing to do with affordable housing, we are not against that at all,” said Finn.

Richetelli says the company is “spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to insure there will be no adverse negative impact to the immediate and surrounding neighborhoods including heavy dust control.”

Neighbors could know if the project will go forward in as soon as a month.

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