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Is '200 Tyler Street Referendum' Binding?

The Mayor's Office has requested a legal opinion on whether or not last November's referendum results on what do to with the former East Haven High School are binding on the town.

The voters may have cast their ballots, but it appears the question of how best to use the continues to remain an unanswered one.

Art DeSorbo, director of administration and management, reported at last night's the status of the town-owned 200 Tyler Street property cannot be determined until the Mayor's Office receives a legal opinion it has requested.

That opinion will advise whether or not town officials must keep to the results of last November's referendum, which gave three choices in determining the vacant building's future:

  1. Shall the property located at 200 Tyler Street be rehabilitated at a cost to the Town and used for educational purposes?
  2. Shall the property located at 200 Tyler Street be rehabilitated at a cost to the Town and used for community purposes?
  3. Shall the property located at 200 Tyler Street be sold by the Town for condominium use?

Residents voted to of renovating the aging facility for community use.

Is It Binding?

But it is now unclear what, if any, legal teeth those votes will have in deciding the future of the 8-acre parcel.

"It's been turned over to the town attorney to determine if the referendum is binding or not for the town," DeSorbo told Town Council members.

Town Attorney Joseph Zullo added last night that he expects to have more information about the matter at next month's Town Council meeting.

Aging Building

The old East Haven High School has been vacant since the school shut its doors in 1997. Currently, only the and the community pool remaining inside the 1936 structure.

A proposed deal in 2006 to sell the parcel to private developers that wanted to build senior housing was quickly squashed after public opinion at that time came out strongly against it.

Fall Referendum

In hopes of reviving the property, former Mayor April Capone formed a in hopes its members would develop recommendations for the best future use of the property.

Unable to narrow it down to just one choice — community use, educational use or sell the property to condominium developers — town officials decided to through a referendum on the Nov. 8 municipal election ballot.

Ann Della Camera March 09, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Asmith, another comment without researching it. Ask your friend Mr Mauro, who took the slate roofing tiles, and much of the antique insides out of the building. Who brought it, trust me I know a lot on that subject.
Ann Della Camera March 09, 2012 at 11:32 PM
RicRaf, I would not want to see these kids lose what they have, Keep kids off the streets and learning good sportmanship is what our future depends on. I think both my idea and them staying could work. Without much cost to the town. That is valuable land and we have to keep it. Congrats on being there for kids that really want to grow up the right way.
Mike Liso March 09, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Approx 5 years ago, a New York firm wanted to buy the building and make it into condos. The pool and gym was going to remain in Town control for a $1.00 a year lease. The drawings showed a beautiful design with a gazebo and parking. The East Haven Academy administration and parents came to the meeting at JMMS and spoke against them having to leave the building. Where are they now?
susie snipets March 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Regarding grants: is there any truth to the most recent rumblings that the town of east haven can be in jeopardy of losing federal funding and grants because of the lack of cooperation by town hall with the consent decree. Imagine how disastrous that would be to the town. maybe someone can find out if that can really happen. I sure hope not.
Robin Carlson March 10, 2012 at 02:40 PM
That's a good question Susie. Maybe someone else knows more about that.

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