The Hartford Planning and Zoning Commission is recommending the city drop a plan for a new New Britain Rock Cats (Class AA; Eastern League) ballpark, though the full City Council will take up the issue shortly.
The recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Commission hinges on an interpretation of whether the redevelopment plan — which includes retail, housing, a brewery and office space in addition to the ballpark — meets the city’s 2010 plan of conservation and development, which sets forth conditions for further development. Cities use plans like this all the time to guide future development, and it’s not unusual for a commission like Hartford’s to find a concrete proposal doesn’t quite measure up to the utopian ideals of the general redevelopment plan. It’s also not unusual for opponents to bring forth their favorite projects — like affordable housing — and see if developers will include them.
But in the end, this may be a meaningless vote: the real power lies in the City Council, and from the sound of it, officials with developer DoNo Hartford LLC — a joint venture backed by Centerplan Development Co. and LeylandAlliance — think the council will go for the ballpark plan pretty much as is. From the Hartford Courant:
Asked what the conclusion meant for the developers, Robert Landino, chief executive officer of Centerplan, said: “I don’t think it changes anything with our plans to move forward and it doesn’t change the council vote.”
Yves-Georges A. Joseph II, vice president of development for Centerplan, said the company did research on the city’s plan of conservation and development and believed the company’s proposal was in line with it.
“We don’t have concerns,” he said. “We think it does conform to the plan.”
As noted, next up is more deliberation from the Hartford City Council.
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