Sandy Hook mom opposes high-density apartment complex next to daughter's animal sanctuary
A Sandy Hook mom is opposing plans to build an apartment complex right next to the sanctuary she created in memory of her daughter.
Since 2014, the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary has sat on 34 acres in Newtown as a place of peace born from a little girl's passion.
"She wanted every single creature that came in her midst to know that she was kind, and they'd be safe. And so, it's that promise that she made to the animals that she loved that we honor at the sanctuary," explained Jenny Hubbard.
The adjacent property is owned by the town of Newtown, and it's sat empty. But Hubbard said there was always the chance it wouldn't stay that way.
Now, Teton Capital Co., a Greenwich-based developer, wants to buy the land and put a residential community for seniors there.
"We love the idea that we would be neighbors with older adults that are able to bring us experience and wisdom and insight into our programming. We were excited about the prospect," Hubbard told News 12. "What's not exciting about the prospect is the density of the development that they're proposing. It's about 5.5 acres of space, which is not a whole lot, with 171 units. That's a lot of people in a very confined space. The proposed development is four-story twin apartment buildings, so as you approach, you won't see the sanctuary because the buildings literally tower over the sanctuary by scale."
Hubbard said there's a concern about how such a dense project would impact the work done at the sanctuary to restore habitats and provide a space for wildlife. She also worries it would disrupt the serenity that community members go there for.
Newtown's Design Advisory board criticized the proposal's renderings at a meeting last month calling the architecture too urban. Teton Capital Co. needs approval from both Newtown's Inland Wetlands Commission and the Planning and Zoning Commission to go forward.
Teton Capital Co. did not respond to News 12 Connecticut's request for comment.
Hubbard said the developer chose that location because of the sanctuary, which she understands. "I continue to come back to the question of, does it have to be 171 units in a five-acre space? I mean, if the number is 171, we have lots of spaces in Newtown that would accommodate a beautiful facility. My hope is that the town is going to make decisions that are in the best interest of this space."
There's a public hearing on the project on April 6.