Affordable Housing, Community Development

Haddam Seeks Housing to Fulfill Community Vision


The Middlesex Chamber of Commerce's Affordable Housing Committee heard a presentation February 22 about potential development in Haddam’s village of Higganum, offered by town planner Liz West Glidden, and architect and Higganum resident Liz Bazazi of Bazazi Design.  Higganum has undergone significant planning to enhance vitality and capitalize on its historic charm and natural setting. 

Driven by strong cooperation between the resident-led Higganum Vision Group and town officials and staff, this planning has so far fostered a farmers market, aesthetic improvements and other multifaceted efforts to encourage more feet-on-the-street and boost retail.  But there is now growing recognition that more housing will be essential to having a sufficient customer base.  Like so many Connecticut towns, residents are realizing that high housing costs are making the town inaccessible to young people who grew up there, employees at many local businesses, and retirees that want to downsize from their larger home into a smaller low-maintenance rental.  Thus, the town may embrace mixed-income zoning to enhance affordability.

The town is considering holding a charrette for residents to participate in mapping out the vision for this area in more detail, and exploring how a charrette might be funded.  When it occurs, it will likely consider how much housing can be accommodated and what type of housing, how to convert the village’s current car-oriented design to a more walkable setting, how to redevelop nearby brownfields into housing or mixed-use development, how to add water and sewer/septic capacity, and how to protect surrounding areas from development so that building will be concentrated in the village.

More information is available at the Higganum Vision Group website.

To learn more about how charrettes and other resident engagement processes can support solid local decisionmaking on development and land use, see the Partnership’s video “Idea Factories: Residents Shaping the Futures of Their Towns”.

The Partnership’s David Fink will be presenting to the Higganum Vision Group on March 19.


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