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Guilford residents unhappy school construction blocking their view






GUILFORD Nearly two weeks after residents of the community adjacent to the site of the new Guilford High School expressed their concerns about the ongoing construction, the Board of Selectmen spent more than an hour Tuesday discussing possible solutions to the issues.

On April 17, the selectmen met with Long Hill Farm residents who were “frustrated and upset” with what they called a loss of privacy, scenery and peace and quiet as a result of the construction associated with Guilford’s new $92 million high school, according to meeting minutes.

Tuesday’s meeting served to explore how the town could address concerns from the residents and representatives from the Guilford High School Building Committee ultimately decided to take the lead in meeting with the project’s landscape architect and Long Hill Farm residents to discuss solutions to restore a landscaping buffer between the school and development.

“We’re happy the selectmen came out to our community and felt what we felt and they responded,” said Roy Smith, president of the Long Hill Farm Association. “We couldn’t ask for more support.”

“We want to work with them and not against them,” Smith added.

Mary Beeman of the Guilford High School Building Committee said she would bring the concerns of the residents to the rest of the committee and the project’s landscape architect.

“They’re essential to the process,” Beeman said of the residents.

Smith said the community’s major concern is the disruption of the “wooded barrier between the school and the community” and added that they would like their privacy restored.

Long Hill Farm residents said at the April 17 meeting that they were concerned about a drop in real estate values as a result of the construction as well as the loss of landscaping between the community and the school.

Robert Berkowitz, Long Hill Farm Association’s liaison to the building committee, indicated that residents aren’t looking to completely black out the school from the view of residents, but nonetheless would like a buffer between the school and the development.

“We’re not looking for high-end landscaping,” Berkowitz said. “I don’t think residents will mind a partial view of the building.”

Toward the end of the meeting, First Selectman Joseph Mazza urged the building committee to keep the residents informed and asked members of the committee to look into and address their concerns.

Call Sean Carlin at 203-645-9661. Have questions, feedback or ideas about our news coverage? Connect directly with the editors of the New Haven Register at AskTheRegister.com.

Article source: http://www.nhregister.com/social-affairs/20140429/guilford-residents-unhappy-school-construction-blocking-their-view