The Friends of Kensington Playground – Update

by Jane Comins, Friends of Kensington Playground

Our efforts to save Kensington Playground from development continue. As you will recall, the City has voted to sell the parkland to The Community Builders for $1 so that a 15-unit apartment building and parking lot can be built on the greenspace. We have posted citizen’s guides to the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 106 review (National Historic Preservation Act) on our website, along with our legal complaint and the alternative building sites that we have proposed. Dwight needs our largest park and only public playground. Take a look and join us in our fight.

Thanks to those who donated. We are up against a national corporation.

Please donate. To learn more, get involved, and donate, visit: KensingtonPlayground.org

The Friends of Kensington Playground – Update

Jane Comins, Friends of Kensington Playground

Our efforts to save Dwight’s Kensington Playground from development continue.  Through our lawyer, we have provided the City of New Haven with several nearby alternative building sites. HUD and the CT Housing Finance Authority have acknowledged the complaints that we submitted under federal historic preservation and environmental protection law, and have asked the State Historic Preservation Office and the City of New Haven to review them. Thanks to those who donated. We are up against a national corporation.  Please donate. To learn more and donate, visit: https://www.kensingtonplayground.org.

Kensington Playground: The Fight Is Not Over! Donations Needed to Support Legal Fight to Keep Playground from Being Sold

by Jane Comins, Friends of Kensington Playground

Friends of Kensington Playground is seeking donations to support our legal fight against the construction of housing and a parking lot on our largest public parkland.

The group is fighting the sale of Dwight’s Kensington Playground to The Community Builders for $1, which was approved by the New Haven Board of Alders in October so that 15 units of affordable rental housing and a surface parking lot can be built on the parkland.

The Friends group filed a complaint against the City of New Haven in Connecticut State Court. The complaint was based on the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act and Conn. Gen. Stat. §7-131n, known as the Park Replacement Statute, which requires that when a municipality takes park or open space land for other purposes, it must be replaced with parkland of equal size and value. §7-131n also requires a dedicated public hearing on the subject.

In addition, The Friends are also pursuing historic preservation and environmental issues under federal law because the playground is in the heart of the Dwight Street National Historic District and federal monies are being used by The Community Builders in the construction of the apartment building. The Friends asked the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to review the proposed sale. The Hartford HUD Office has directed the City of New Haven Office of Management and Budget to consider the matter.

While the Friends understand that there is a need for affordable housing, we believe there is no reason to take our parkland for it. Loss of the mature trees in the Playground will hurt our air quality. Adults as well as children enjoy this outdoor space. The non-profit developer receiving the gift of this land has had a poor track record for decades.

The group is appealing to the community for donations to our GoFundMe Campaign to Save Kensington Playground to help with legal costs, and if they win, with a playscape. GoFundMe campaign link is: https://gf.me/u/y89852 or search for “Save Kensington Playground” on GoFundMe.com.

See www.KensingtonPlayground.org for additional details, and to sign our petition.

Dwight’s Kensington Playground Is About to Be Sold for $1 to Build Housing

by Jane Comins, Friends of Kensington Playground

Kensington Playground is the largest green space and the only public playground in the Dwight neighborhood. It is about to be sold by the City of New Haven for $1 to non-profit housing developer The Community Builders/TCB. TCB plans to build a 15-unit apartment building and a 15-space surface parking lot on the playground. A diverse group of neighbors has organized to stop this sale.

The proposed deal was approved by the full Board of Alders on Monday, October 19, 2020. Only three alders, Douglass, Festa, and Roth, stood with the neighborhood. Others relied on old stereotypes of Kensington Street to hijack our only playground to benefit TCB, a non-profit developer that has not been a good landlord. Kensington Playground is a major success story for policing in New Haven. Lt. John Healy made it his top priority when taking over this police district. As a result, it is now a place we can use. The City did not follow the law. The Dwight Central Management Team never gave its support. Housing can be built without taking this playground from our children. We call upon the Mayor to reject this plan.

For updates, visit: KensingtonPlayground.org