Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Proposed Condos for Ocean Beach

Since I've llived in New London, begining in 1995, I've wondered about the expanse of lawn north of Ocean Beach's parking lot. The paved part of the lot is rarely full. What is the puprose of the 3.5 acres of grass protected by a chain link fence that abuts New London's Alewife Cove border with Waterford?

This parcel is open space in the sense that it is empty, unused, underutilized, and neglected. It certainly isn't anyone's idea of a park, unless you are polling the geese and seagulls. Filling this area with 96 tax paying households of new citizens wouldn't be the worst use of this land. The worst use would be doing nothing, a strategy New London often employs when opportuinities beckon. If you want to see a waste of space, visit the corner of Highland and Stewart Avenues today.

Ocean Beach is sacred the way every piece of New London's history is sacred, but the city is not a time capsule. For a city to be robust, it must adapt to the times. For a city's population to grow, it must provide shelter for new inhabitants. A condominium plan for an unused parcel of Ocean Beach is a plan perfect for a real city. It provides high density, attractive housing in a tiny munipality that needs more.

I am sure the usual sticks in the mud will conspire to squash this idea. New London needs developers to provide more urban infill, but they aren't welcome. New Londoners understandably hate eminent domain. To be against destruction is one thing. Being against creation is another altogether. When neither is an option, the result is stagnation. New London has had enough of that.

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