MONEY FOR *NAGI'S* TRAFFIC LIGHT! 

CITY WANTED $100,000 OF *YOUR*

Lawn Sign
(18" x 24")

11/06/11 Update #2:
"Nagi-Care"


(Click the link to see this new info about Nagi's 120-kid day-care proposal....)

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11/05/11 Update:
Welcome Home, Norm!



Here is an email that I received from Acting Land Use Bureau Chief Norman Cole a few days ago. (Actually, I was hoping for a postcard from him while he was on vacation the week before the 10/24 public hearing.) I have copied my response below Mr. Cole's email. I was going to wait until I heard from him again to publish this, but it's been a few days....


From: Cole, Norman [mailto:NCole@ci.stamford.ct.us] 
Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2011 1:37 PM
To: 'Paul Longo'
Subject: Nagi Project

Mr. Longo:

On your updated web page (stopnagi.com) you referred to an article in the Times in which Attorney Leydon described the Nagi project as comparable to the Vine Meadow condominium development at 865 High Ridge Road.  I did not see this story but agree in principle that the projects are similar in their architectural intensity. 

You mentioned on your web page that the Vine Meadow project has a total floor area of about 25,000 square feet, and the assessor information reports about the same (25,467).  If you divide this floor area by the 39,615 sq. ft. lot size  (termed “floor area ratio”) the Vine Meadow projects has a floor area ratio of 0.613, compared to the Nagi project (total floor area of 38,256; lot size of 64,823 sq. ft.) which has a ratio slightly less, 0.59.  The maximum floor area ratio permitted in RM-1 is 0.736.     

The reason for this difference is that the Nagi project, while having a slightly higher percent building coverage or footprint, is limited to only two stories while the Vine Meadow project is listed as 2 ½ stories.  The 12 unit building in the Nagi project is described as 2 ½ story but has no accessible third floor and is only 2 stories, and the second floor above the day care use is smaller than the ground floor by 2,000 square feet.
 
I hope this information is useful.

Norman Cole


________________________________________________

From: 'Paul Longo'
Sent: Wed 11/2/2011 1:24 PM
To: Cole, Norman [mailto:NCole@ci.stamford.ct.us] 
Subject: Re: Nagi Project

Dear Mr. Cole,
 
Thank you for the information. I agree that the "floor area ratios" of Vine Meadow and Maple Ridge may be similar. However, the projects differ substantially in almost every other respect. Here are a few differences between them:
 
Vine Meadow:
a)  10 primarily owner-occupied condominium units
b)  each unit is approx. 2,500 square feet
c)  an attached garage for each unit
d)  a single driveway for both entry and exit
e)  no commercial use
 
(vs.)
 
Maple Ridge:
a)  22 rental units (i.e., apartments)
b)  each unit ranges between approx. 900 and 1,600 (or is it 1,300?) square feet -- a majority of units (12) are only 900 sq. ft.
c)  a 98-space parking lot
d)  several driveways, including a roadway connecting Bradley Place and Maplewood Place
e)  a 14,136 sq. ft. commercial daycare for 120 children
 
If Nagi wanted to substantially replicate Vine Meadow, most of the residents would be willing to compromise with him on the slightly increased density. Unfortunately, he doesn't. And this is the reason for the continuing public uproar over Maple Ridge.
 
Sincerely,
 
Paul Longo
www.stopnagi.com


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Advocate Article "Teaser"


The Advocate just published an online "teaser" for their upcoming article about our fight against Nagi's Housing Project. Click on the link above to see it. (OK, so I'll never be a male model....) The article will hopefully appear in the next few days. But right now we have a more pressing issue to contend with:


(Mayor Pavia, are you listening? Are you going to fight for OUR neighborhood, or just YOUR neighborhood? PLEASE withdraw your support for Nagi's Housing Project!)


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11/03/11 Updates:

"Button-Gate" -- Follow-Up to My Follow-Up
& Political Endorsement


Thanks (you know who you are) for calling and emailing me about Board of Finance Chairman Jerry Bosak's appearance at the 10/24 public hearing. One person whom I know and trust said that when Jerry walked into the cafeteria, he was wearing Nagi's "I Support Maple Ridge" button on the right lapel of his suit jacket. (This is what I saw, too.) However, I heard from someone else (also trustworthy) who saw Jerry speaking with Mayor Pavia's Executive Aide, Lynn Arnow, and the city's Director of Economic Development, Laure Aubuchon a few minutes later. And at that time, Jerry did NOT appear to be wearing Nagi's button. Finally, I spoke with Jerry personally, and he SWEARS that he was not wearing one of Nagi's buttons at any time during the public hearing. He said that he WAS wearing an official City of Stamford button on his lapel, which perhaps some of us remember as Nagi's button instead. And I'll remain open-minded about that possibility.

I checked my unpublished photos of the crowd in the cafeteria that evening, but Jerry was not in any of them. Jerry said that he wants to review the security video at the Government Center from that evening, and that I am welcome to do the same. So, at this point, the issue remains unresolved.

However, on a larger scale, I believe that the Mayor's upper-echelon staff who decided to "drop in" on the hearing were there to send a message to our Zoning Board members that Nagi's housing project was to be voted in by the Board that evening. Their plan failed only because we packed the cafeteria to its breaking point.

At this point, it seems that our Mayor, although he may not have spoken out in support of Nagi's Housing Project, does appear to support it--at least from behind the scenes. (Think about it: why would Mayor Pavia's Executive Aide, his Director of Economic Development, and--last but not least--his campaign organizer (Robert "Bob" Hagan) have any interest at all in Nagi's housing project? Yeah, that's what I think, too. (BTW, click on Bob's name to read an interesting Advocate article about him.)

So we must continue our fight to stop this effort to ruin our neighborhood by a politically connected property owner who believes that he has the right to do whatever he wants, even if it is to the detriment to those around him. He has shown us that he has friends in high places, and they may yet previal over us. One positive step we can all take, regardless of political party, is to vote on Election Day on Tuesday, November 8th.

On this note, I have to let you know that I also saw two other people at our 10/24 public hearing: Joe Tarzia and Cynthia Reeder. (I believe that Joe may have been at the 10/6 hearing, as well.) In fact, Joe was even wearing our lapel sticker. I recently spoke with Joe and Cynthia, as well as with Bob Kolenberg, and they said that they are strongly opposed to developments like Nagi's being rammed down the our throats despite our vehement objections to them. So, in this respect, Tarzia, Kolenburg, and Reeder appear to be what they say they are:


"Voice of the People"

Therefore, I am supporting Tarzia, Kolenberg, and Reeder for the Board of Finance because I know that they'll do whatever is possible to make sure that our voices are heard in the future. I urge you to also vote for them on Election Day, and I ask that you call ten friends and let them know that they can support us by supporting Tarzia, Kolenberg, and Reeder. In the long run, the only way that we can win the fight against out-of-control development is if we keep up the pressure and make sure that our elected officials hear our concerns. This vote will send that message loud and clear to our current administration.

And, if you live in the 16th District (aka "Ground Zero for Nagi's Housing Project,") please vote for Demetrios Frazis for our representative. Click on his name to see the Advocate article that this excerpt appeared in:

Frazis said many of his constituents have expressed concern about local jeweler Nagi Osta's proposed plan to build a multifamily housing complex and day care facility on High Ridge Road. He said he is also committed to supporting services for senior citizens, transportation initiatives and education improvements.

So, regardless of what happens with Nagi's Housing Project, we are not going to be bullied like this anymore. And, if you vote for Joe, Bob, and Cynthia (and Demetrios, if you live in the 16th District), you can be assured that they are not going to be bullied, either. This is a great way to fight for our position in addition to all the efforts we have made so far. Thanks very much for your help!Paul Longo

P.S.--I have more surprises on the way. Stay tuned....



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11/02/11 Update:
Finance Board Chairman Jerry Bosak Claims Mistaken Identity


I just received word that, although Finance Board Chairman Jerry Bosak acknowledges that he DID attend the 10/24/11 public hearing on Nagi's Housing Project, he said that he was NOT wearing one of Nagi's "I Support Maple Ridge" buttons. According to my source, Jerry attended the hearing due to the Finance Board's funding for a traffic study on High Ridge Road, not to support Nagi.

I happen to know Jerry on a casual level, and I recall seeing him wearing one of Nagi's buttons at the hearing. In fact, I wanted to say hello to Jerry there, but I thought it would be awkward under the circumstances. So, if YOU recall seeing Jerry at the public hearing, please email info@stopnagi.com ASAP and let me know what you saw. Thanks!

Paul Longo


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NAGI'S HOUSING PROJECT IS HOW BIG?!?

10/21/11 Updates


Click on the Board Members link for photos of their neighborhoods.
If you can find a housing project in any of them, email me ASAP.
Also, click on the Words with Nagi link for a photo of his street.
No housing projects there, either...go figure.


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10/19/11 UPDATE


I received the following automated response from Norman Cole after emailing him:


"I'll be out of the office Monday, October 17th through Monday, October 24th.
You can contact Todd Dumais @tdumais@ci.stamford.ct.us if you require immediate assistance." 

(See the "Board Members" link in the banner above for "Plan B.")


...............................................................................


*** NEW "NO NAGI" LAPEL STICKERS! (10/21/11 - see photo below) ***


Unlike the infamous "I Voted Today!" stickers that the state gave us a few years ago, these 3-inch glossy lapel stickers won't leave adhesive on your clothes. They also work great on windows, signs, etc. They will be FREE at the 10/24/11 Public Hearing, or email info@stopnagi.com to help out with our future Mid-Ridges Stick-It-To-Nagi campaign!

(We have thousands of these stickers--use your imagination here....)

Poster
(8-1/2" x 11")

or (better still) you can create your OWN lawn sign! 


(HUGE!!!)

The home page finally became too large to load properly, so I moved my "pre-compromise" updates to this archive page. As you can see, all of us put up a rough-and-tumble fight, thus the title....

Paul Longo



11/07/11 Update:

More Local Politicians Weigh in Against Nagi's Project

To be fair to all those involved in tomorrow's election, I have to tell you that Scott Mirkin (who is running for re-election to the Board of Finance) called me on November 4th. He reminded me that he had strongly opposed the Lake Windemere development project on Erskine Road when he was a city representative, and that he led the effort to have the Zoning Board decision overturned when the matter came before the Board of Representatives. He also stated that any project that increases density and adds to traffic concerns on High Ridge Road is not something that he would not be in favor of.

Finally, Scott said, (and I quote) "I think it's important that, when the City--the Zoning Board--is about to make a decision on a proposed project, that they are listening very carefully to the community--the people who live in closest proximity to that proposed project--on what impact it would have on their daily lives. They are the people who are going to have to live with that decision, and I would hope that, in any process, peoples' concerns are being listened to, and that appropriate decisions are being made."

Does this mean that Scott Mirkin is against Nagi's Housing Project? Although he didn't come out and say it directly, this would appear to be the case.

Similarly, I just received a voice-mail message today from Joshua Brown, a Democratic candidate for the Board of Representatives in the 16th District. He said (and, again, I quote):


“This is Joshua Brown at 15 Tally Ho Lane. I’m actually running for Board of Reps District 16 tomorrow. But I am definitely against and opposed to the Nagi Jeweler’s High Ridge project. If you can send me some lawn signs, I have no problem putting them out on the corner on both sides next to the doctor’s [i.e., Dr. Ahuja's] buildings.”

“I do live across the street from that project, and I’m totally against it. My block is against it, my neighbors are against it. He could easily build some nice residential houses there as opposed to a 22-unit rental facility.”

In all fairness, it should be noted that Joshua's Republican opponent, Demetrios Frazis, is also on record as voicing local concern about Nagi's Housing Project. Here (again) is his statement from this October 29th Advocate article:



6 representatives ready to defend their seats


Frazis said many of his constituents have expressed concern about local jeweler Nagi Osta's proposed plan to build a multifamily housing complex and day care facility on High Ridge Road. He said he is also committed to supporting services for senior citizens, transportation initiatives and education improvements.



It certainly seems that our local politicians are bending over backward to distance themselves from Nagi's project, and for good reason--it has our community in an UPROAR!

Our Zoning Board must know that Nagi's Housing Project is a MAJOR philosophical and cultural change to the established standards of our Mid-Ridges community. THERE ARE *NO* APARTMENT COMPLEXES ON HIGH RIDGE ROAD from Bull's Head all the way to the New York line! So WHY does Nagi feel that HE is ENTITLED to one?

If the Zoning Board goes ahead and approves Nagi's Housing Project despite community opposition, they are willfully violating standards that are clearly stated in the "Neighborhood Plans Report" of the City's 2002 Master Plan:




"Newfield, Turn of River, Westover"

Here are some relevant excerpts from the report:



"Newfield, Turn-of-River and Westover has a stable residential quality. The vast majority of residents are middle class; the vast majority of households consist of married couples; the vast majority of housing units are owner occupied; and the vast majority of housing units are single-family. These qualities express the abiding strength of this neighborhood grouping, and need to be protected in connection with any affordable housing strategy here. A citywide priority on promoting diversity should not be at the expense of the quality of life and self-image of these neighborhoods."

"The plan for this neighborhood grouping must above all else preserve a quality of life that is essentially suburban in character."

"Over the past decades, the community’s age profile has edged toward a disproportionate number of seniors, due to aging in place as residents choose to stay in their present homes as they grow older and their children move out."

"Traffic conditions along the Ridge Roads (High Ridge Road and Long Ridge Road) are the main source of complaint registered during the Master Plan process in these neighborhoods. Through-traffic is largely channeled to the Ridge Roads, which are able to accommodate the volumes with some nuisances to residents. Left turns onto these roads are often impossible, for example. Due to the lack of east-west through roads, many local roads are forced to handle undue amounts of traffic."

"There is significant market support for office and retail development in these neighborhoods, owing to Long Ridge Road’s and High Ridge Road’s tremendous visibility and accessibility, especially proximate to the Merritt Parkway. Significant commercial development would, however, drain energy from Downtown; and it should generally be rejected."

"Large amounts of such development could overwhelm the road’s traffic capacity, as well as absorb development better directed to Downtown."


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11/06/11 Updates:
The Advocate covers our fight against Nagi's Housing Project!
One man's crusade vs. a development


Advocate Staff Writer Elizabeth Kim did an EXCELLENT job of providing an interesting, well-balanced article. (And photojournalist Keelin Daly even captured a good photo of me, which is a monumental task in itself.) The article manages to walk the fine line of covering all sides of this controversial issue without upsetting the people involved in it. (Right, Nagi?)

Please feel free to share your comments after the article. If you are not already registered to comment, it takes about a day for the Advocate to set up an account for you. It's a great way to be heard without buying and maintaining a website.


FREE Lawn Signs & Posters Available Now!


Spread the word about Thursday's public hearing by displaying a lawn sign in YOUR neighborhood! And, if you know any store owners in the Mid-Ridges, please ask them to display a poster, too. You can get these items FREE by calling stopnagi.com at 203-724-5629 or by sending an email to info@stopnagi.com.

Update:  "Someone" already stole about 20 of our lawn signs since yesterday, so we are no longer planting free-standing signs on lawns. If you have a tree in your front yard, we can secure it to the tree (although even some of these signs were taken). Apparently, "someone" doesn't want many people to know about Thursday's public hearing. So, if you have a Facebook account, we'd love you to link to www.stopnagi.com to help get the word out. (As far as I know, there is no way to steal a Facebook link....)

Rowdy Days

(Over THREE TIMES the size of THIS!!!)


We know that Nagi's proposed housing project would contain one building with a day-care center on its first floor and 10 apartments on its second floor. Each of these floors will be 14,136 square feet. The proposed project would also contain a second building with another 12 apartments on two floors of 6,000 square feet each. That's a total of about 40,000 square feet for both floors of these buildings. But how big is this, really?

To get some perspective, check out the following excerpt from the Advocate:



In Bull's Head, CVS comes under fire once again


http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/default/article/In-Bull-s-Head-CVS-comes-under-fire-once-again-1032034.php

"The opening of the 13,000-square-foot branch at High Ridge and Long Ridge roads had more than two years of well-publicized delays over the design and look of a retaining wall."So the new CVS Pharmacy store in Bull's Head is "only" 13,000 square feet, while just ONE of Nagi's two proposed buildings is 14,136 square feet! And CVS's parking lot has "only" 79 spaces, while Nagi's Housing Project would have 98 spaces! Also, remember that the CVS site is nestled in the side of a hill, while Nagi's site would stick out like a sore thumb at street level on High Ridge Road.

Note that CVS, like Nagi's Housing Project, sits on 1-1/2 acres of land. You can verify this information for yourself via the City's online real-estate assessment data for CVS's address (66 High Ridge Road): 


CVS Bull's Head Property Assessment

But at least Bull's Head is ZONED for commercial buildings...WE are NOT. So Nagi's Housing Project is going to be a MONSTER with walls in our Mid-Ridges neighborhood!


So PLEASE call and email Mayor Mike Pavia and let him know that YOU oppose Nagi's Housing Project! Ask him if he supports it, and, if so, WHY???


Phone: (203) 977-4150

email:  mpavia@ci.stamford.ct.us


(Stay tuned for "Nagi-Care," "Nagi vs. the City's Master Plan," and more!)

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10/31/11 Update:

(Happy Halloween, Nagi!)


On a more serious note: Angelo Gargagliano submitted an open letter (see the "Angelo's Corner" link, above) that I would like to direct to Maria Nakian, one of the esteemed members of our Zoning Board. You see, the future of Nagi's Housing Project--and thus the future of our Mid-Ridges--rests solely in Ms. Nakian's hands, for it is her vote that will either approve or reject Nagi's Housing Project.

Board Chairman Thomas Mills and member Harry Parson, Jr. (for reasons that we will not delve into here) appear to be firmly committed to approving Nagi's project, while members Audrey Cosentini and Barry Michelson appear equally opposed to it. Ms. Nakian, while she often votes "yes" to developers' projects, appears to have a stronger conscience than Mr. Mills or Mr. Parson. We can only hope that she votes with her conscience instead of with her chairman. (Please consider John F. Kennedy's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "Profiles in Courage" here, Ms. Nakian.) 

If any of you know Ms. Nakian personally, you may wish to appeal to her good senses. She may not understand that she would have to live with the consequences of her vote for years to come. For example, if Nagi's Housing Project is approved, it will be the first domino to fall. I was recently told that another applicant intends to file an application for yet another day-care center close to Nagi's property. And I'm sure that, once a precedent is set, there will be others, as well.



10/30/11 Update:


OK, now that I've cleared the snow from our October 29th "winter" storm (!), it's back to business. On 10/26/11, the Stamford Times published an article about our fight against Nagi's Housing Project:

Public hearing on controversial project suspended


Times Staff Writer Kara O'Connor provided fair and balanced coverage here, although her competition, Elizabeth Kim of the Advocate, probably sold more newspapers with Nagi's quote on my effort as "a work of evil.". For the Times interview, it appears that Nagi deferred to his attorney, John Leydon. It's a shame...I was hoping to read another Nagi-ism here. ("Work of evil" was, I admit, pretty entertaining stuff.)

In the Times article, John Leydon did a great job of minimizing the impact of the project on our neighborhood. (After all, that's his job....) However, his suggestion that Nagi's Housing Project is comparable to the Vine Meadow condominium (at 865 High Ridge Road--referred to as "the Sandolo proposals" in the article) is simply untrue. In fact, I had debunked Nagi's similar claim in Flyer #2. (See the "Flyers" link on this website.) I would add that Vine Meadow contains 10 condo units of about 2,500 square feet each (a total of 25,000 square feet). Nagi's two buildings would total 40,000 square feet...on about the same size parcel of land.

If Nagi's Housing Project was, in fact, like Vine Meadow, I would concede to its construction immediately. But, at this point, its ONLY resemblance to Vine Meadow is that both properties are now zoned alike (i.e., RM-1). 


 ..........................................................................................................................


10/26/11 Updates


Today the Advocate published a retraction of the phrases "public housing project" and "low-income housing" that were incorrectly attributed to me. You will find it under "Corrections & Clarifications" on Page A2. It states:

A story that ran on A3 on Thursday misstated the terms used in a flyer by Paul Longo, a city resident who has initiated a protest campaign against Nagi Osta's High Ridge housing development. He has called the plan a "housing project" and referred to future occupants as "low-income tenants."[OK, that's a little better. But, to be specific, my reference to "low-income tenants" in Flyer #3 stated only that:

Nagi took advantage of a “bonus density” provision in the zoning regs to cram five more apartments into his housing project, as long as at least three of them are for low-income tenants. 

____________________________________________

Note: On 10/27/11, the Advocate also published a retraction on Page A2 regarding their statement that I had photographed the Zoning Board members' homes:

A page A3 story in Tuesday's Advocate mischaracterized photos on the website stopnagi.com. The photos were of streets where three of the city's Zoning Commission members live.

Again, I had photographed the Zoning Board members' streets (not their homes) in order to reveal the bucolic, "housing-project-free" neighborhoods where they live. Period.

However (on a related issue), this part of the Advocate's 10/24/11 article stated:

Thomas Mills, the Zoning Board chairman, who was among the members whose homes were photographed and displayed on the website, remained relatively calm throughout Monday's proceedings.

"Was it appropriate? Probably not," he said about the website. "But we're in the public eye and we understand that things like that happen."

He then soberly added, "At the same time, my family is not on this board."


______________________________________

Wow...Mr. Mills makes it sound like, by snapping a photo of his street to illustrate my point, I was stalking his family! (By the way, this tactic of "attacking the messenger" is commonly used by people in power--such as Mr. Mills--to discredit a source of potentially damaging information, such as the info in my flyers and on this website. But, since he is chairman of the Zoning Board, I guess that's his job, right?)


My short reply to this accusation is: "Welcome to the 21st. Century, Mr. Mills!" Today, ANYBODY with access to the Internet can, with a click of a mouse, instantly view your entire HOUSE (not just your street) from every conceivable angle. And, with a few more clicks, they can discover how big it is, how many bathrooms it has, etc. In this respect, we are ALL "in the public eye" now (and, in Mr. Mills' case, this is a good thing).

Finally, my reply to Mr. Mills' apparently steadfast support of Nagi's Housing Project can be summarized in the stated purpose of Stamford's Zoning Code (Page 1-1), which the Zoning Board is supposed to apply when considering projects such as this. I have copied part of it below and added bolding for emphasis. You can view the entire Zoning Code here:


http://www.cityofstamford.org/filestorage/25/52/138/164/204/Stamford_Zoning_Regulations_9-17-10.pdf


The purpose of this Zoning Code is to encourage the most appropriate use of land; to conserve and stabilize the value of property; to provide adequate open spaces for light and air; to prevent and fight fires; to prevent undue concentration of population; to lessen congestion on streets; to facilitate adequate provisions for community utilities and facilities such as transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks and other public requirements; to promote health, safety and the general welfare; and to that end to designate, regulate and restrict the location and use of buildings, structures and land for agriculture, residence, commerce, trade, industry or other purposes; to regulate and limit the height, number of stories and size of buildings and other structures hereafter erected or altered; to regulate and determine the size of yards and other open spaces; and to regulate and limit the density of population; and for said purposes to divide the city into zoning districts of such number, shape and area as may be deemed best suited to carry out these regulations.....

I rest my case....

Paul Longo



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DIAL-A-NAGI !


(10/26/11)


I stopped by the Government Center yesterday—word there is that our turnout on Monday was the largest single showing of public opposition that the Zoning Board has seen in recent memory (!). But we didn’t get our chance to tell the Board—and, more importantly, Nagi—how we feel about his housing project. So (now that we’ve given Nagi a day to calm down) let’s do so! You can reach Nagi at his business number:


203-964-0551, ext. 18
or via email at nagi@nagis.net


Nagi’s home number is also in the phone book, but please DON'T call him at home. Our problem is with his business decision, not with him personally. And, if you do call Nagi, please be civil, but let him know that his housing project (or his apartment complex, or whatever he wants to call it) is not OK as it stands. He needs to hear it from you, as opposed to from what he has apparently dubbed "a work of evil." (OK, if Nagi thinks that letting people know the facts about his project is "evil," so be it. But I find it even more offensive that he is willing to destroy the character of our neighborhood for profit.)


So what is OK on Nagi's site (assuming it remains zoned for multi-family—but that's another story)? Personally, I would reluctantly accept condos there. I have spoken with people who live near Vine Meadow at 865 High Ridge Road (on the corner of Merriman Road), and they all said that their neighbors at Vine Meadow are just fine. In other words, not all multi-family dwellings are bad for single-family neighborhoods (again, at least in my opinion). This, in a nutshell, is my compromise to Nagi (although we still have to talk about his property at 808 High Ridge Road, which dates back to 1780).

However, if I were Nagi, I would find a different name for the condos (maybe "Maple Mews?")—especially after he went and made those awful red “I Support Maple Ridge” (gag!) buttons….

Stay tuned....

Paul Longo



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THANKSEVERYONE!!!
You made such an AWESOME showing tonight that
We *SHUT DOWN* the Public Hearing!
(Yes, we did.)


*** Updated 10/24/11  10:00 PM ***


 I can't BELIEVE how many of us showed up at the Government Center tonight to oppose Nagi's Housing Project. Thank you so much for taking YOUR valuable time to keep our neighborhood a NEIGHBORHOOD!By 7 PM, the cafeteria was STANDING ROOM ONLY! In fact, there were SO many of us that the Fire Marshal started preventing people from coming up to the 4th floor. Someone got the word to me, so I scooted downstairs to the lobby, and there you were--concerned members of the public locked out of the public hearing!:

​I asked the Fire Marshal what was going on. He said that he had to enforce the fire code, which limits the cafeteria to 160 people. So I took this photo, then tried to head back upstairs to show it to the Zoning Board. The Fire Marshal stopped me dead in my tracks. Meanwhile, Nagi and his attorney walked right past me and headed to the elevators. I asked the Fire Marshal why Nagi & Company were being allowed back upstairs while weweren't. (I know, I know...it's his housing project....) The Fire Marshal said to hang on a few minutes because the Zoning Board was considering postponing the hearing. I asked him if they just could have the hearing in a larger room, but he replied that there was nowhere in the entire Government Center BIG enough!!!

SO LET'S HEAR IT AGAIN FOR ALL OF US!!!

Sure enough, after a few minutes, a nice government official arrived in the lobby and made the announcement: Due to the very large crowd, the Zoning Board decided to postpone our public hearing until they can find a place (school, library, etc.) big enough for us. He assured us that they will run a public notice in the newspaper to announce the time and place. And so, by about 7:30 PM, we were all heading back home.

But what about Nagi?

Needless to say, Nagi is a little upset. For one thing, there goes another few grand down the drain, in terms of professional fees for his entourage (attorney, engineer, architect, traffic expert...you get the picture).

Speaking of pictures, I started to snap a few photos of the standing-room-only crowd in the cafeteria for your viewing pleasure. But a " Nagi-ite" (you could pick them out from a mile away--more on this below) warned me not to take photos without getting releases from them. (Well, excuuuuse me!!!) So you'll just have to take my word on the size of the crowd there.

Anyway, you could tell the Nagi-ites by their expensive attire, their perfect make-up (including some of the guys!), and their upper-class poise--all of which screamed, "I'm not from the Mid-Ridges." (Likewise, you could just as easily pick us out. We are the workers in "The City That Works.") I would bet that, if we checked the sign-in sheet in the lobby, many of the Nagi-ites are actually from Greenwich. (Can't you just sort of tell these things?)

OK, to be fair, not everyone who supported Nagi is a "Nagi-ite." But some of our concerned residents talked with a few bona-fide "Nagi-ites," (described above), and they didn't seem to know much--if anything--about Nagi's housing project. In fact, a few of the younger ones admitted that they didn't know why they were there at all. Also, Nagi apparently also asked his supporters to show up for the hearing at 6 PM (vs. 7 PM, its scheduled start time). So they had to sit in the cafeteria for an hour-and-a-half, only to be sent home after we took over the place.

Oh, yeah...and the "Nagi-ites" were all wearing these huge red buttons:

"I SUPPORT MAPLE RIDGE"

(Until I remembered that this is what Nagi wanted to call his Housing Project, I thought it was a conservation group or something.) To prove Nagi's opulence, his buttons were much larger than our lapel stickers. But (as they say) "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." So thanks for the compliment, Nagi!! 
  
Paul Longo 

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10/25/11 Update: Even the Advocate showed up at the hearing!


Despite their previous absence and lack of response to my phone calls, emails, etc. the Advocate decided to cover last night's public hearing. (Maybe the fact that News-12 was there had something to do with it.) Here's the link:


Opponents of High Ridge plan pack hearing


Elizabeth Kim, Staff Writer


Updated 10:14 p.m., Monday, October 24, 2011


http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/local/article/Opponents-of-High-Ridge-plan-pack-hearing-2234440.php


However, I will have to call the Advocate regarding this statement:

Longo's campaign has included misleading information, such as references to "low-income housing" or "public housing."

I never used either of these terms. (In an unsolicited email to his opponents, Nagi did make a reference to his project NOT being a public housing project. And I did use the term "low-income TENANTS" in Flyer #3. But that's it....)

(The Advocate later retracted this statement--see above.)

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10/22/11 Update: "Stop Nagi" lawn signs!


Our neighbors in Indian Ridge put a lot of effort into these signs, as well as another one.
(They had previously posted a sign last night, but "someone" stole it -- more dirty politics....)