I stand corrected. I thought because the trees were still standing on Cedar Mountain this spring, the spooky mountain was safe. If you saw the front page of the Courant today, you know that the woods aren't so safe from the Toll Brothers (who made lots of money destroying our economy with the subprime mortgage crisis). Like any stupid plan to develop the woods and restrict public access, there's a thoughtful, organized and right opposition.
May 25, 2011
Members of the Planning and Zoning Commission,
I write to you today to express my opposition to residential development on Cedar Mountain. For decades, residents of south Hartford, Wethersfield and Newington have been blessed with several hundred acres of woodland on Cedar Mountain. This area is one of the few large forests remaining in close proximity to the core of capital region and it benefits the area’s residents immeasurably. I understand Newington’s desire to increase its grand list, but there is no reason to destroy forest when there are redevelopment opportunities right downtown. West Hartford’s Blue Back Square, for example, redeveloped the town’s center and increased the tax base without negatively impacting the town’s balance of open space. Developing Cedar Mountain is akin to West Hartford having left the old car dealership in the center vacant and building houses in Westmoor Park.
As an avid mountain biker and hiker, I know that my opinion on this matter is somewhat self-serving, but I know that many others directly benefit from recreating on Cedar Mountain or indirectly benefit from having the exhaust from Berlin Turnpike cleansed by the trees in its forest. A few years ago, the City of Hartford turned down a proposal to develop a 200 acre equestrian facility in the middle of Keney Park. Hartford made the right decision in preserving its northern forest. I hope that Newington makes the right decision and preserves Cedar Mountain.
I understand that as Newington officials, you will probably take the opinion of a non-resident without much weight, but I hope that my writing impresses upon you that the destruction of Cedar Mountain would have a regional impact.