Yesterday, Tri-State and the One Region Funders’ Group issued the largest of the eight grants in their transit-oriented development (TOD) grant program to the Town of Stratford in Connecticut. The $50,000 grant was presented to Stratford Mayor James Miron during a press event at Stratford Town Hall. The grant will be used to create a community- and stakeholder-driven consensus around appropriate types of TOD in Stratford Center and build community awareness and support for transit-oriented development.
The efforts have broad support from the Mayor and stem from his participation in the 2007 Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a national program that works with local leaders to promote TCD and fine-tune their existing plans.
During the press conference, Tri-State associate director Veronica Vanterpool praised the Mayor’s recognition that “residents are craving communities that are different from the strip malls and the big box stores that characterized recent efforts in land use planning and development. People are demanding sustainable solutions to congestion relief, new ways to promote economic development and more livable communities.” She said that “Mayor Miron should be applauded for recognizing that TCD is a way to achieve all three of these goals.”
In the Mayor’s comments he emphasized the need for Stratford to “grow up” as a community.
“Stratford is over 95% developed, so we need to look at new ways to grow. One way to do this is through increasing density around our downtown and transit stops,” Mayor Miron said. “This grant provides an incredible opportunity for our community to identify the best way to maximize this development potential.”
Yolanda Caldera-Durant, program officer for the Fairfield County Community Foundation and One Region Funders’ Group representative, spoke about the potential of TCD to promote mass transit and spur economic development. She also highlighted the possibility that Stratford’s initiative could become a model for TCD efforts in Connecticut.
“We hope surrounding communities follow Stratford’s lead in promoting sustainable economic and environmental development. These are the types of innovative projects that our state needs in order to strengthen the economy.”
Following the event, Town Planner David Killeen provided Tri-State and One Region members with a tour of Stratford Center, pointing out potential areas the Town will focus upon using the resources from the grant award.