22 Aug 2014
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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.

Is '200 Tyler Street Referendum' Binding? Is '200 Tyler Street Referendum' Binding? Is '200 Tyler Street Referendum' Binding?

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.

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