Residents Question French Square Plans

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

The Town Council met last Tuesday evening before the pigskin could fly across the new Miller Field on Thanksgiving Day.

Those interested in the center business district and surrounds presented the council with a presentation on neighborhood concerns and quality of life issues related to Winthrop Center and residential developments.

Handed out by resident John Vitaglia, the presentation details the neighborhood and its density. It also gave an outline of the current state of parking and traffic. The report also covers future development and its potential impact.

Jim Murray, a business owner and resident, said plans to redesign French Square aren’t being done for the business owners already there but for the developers who’ve expressed interest in the area.

“There’s never been a mention of existing businesses. I urge you to rethink it,” Murray said.

A resident of Cottage Park Road said she felt that developers were being more protected than the residents.

Council President Russ Sanford said a plan submitted for the CVS building was rejected and to his knowledge no other plans have been submitted.

Resident Nick Tsiotis said the communication was lacking and he felt there was no protection for the residents. He questioned allowing building heights to be up to 48 feet and noted that the 2016 master plan for the area didn’t include any safeguards for the residents.

“This is a serious impact on the quality of life. These meetings should have taken place in 2014,” Tsiotis said. “We have a serious matter here. The essence of the town is about to change.

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