The saga of the Gateway Development Project in East Lyme continues to unfold with negative implications for the residents. The most recent development is just another in a series of bait and switches perpetrated by the developers and their politically connected attorneys. The approved entrance to the project has to be moved because the developer does not have control of the land despite years of assurances that it did. They propose to move the entrance next to Interstate 95 and demand that taxpayers pay for the access road and bridge improvements. This major change will not only be costly but will cause monumental traffic congestion in Flanders.
This switch is in addition to the changes that have already been made regarding the size of the retail stores and the location and building of 250 rental units prior to the construction of the commercial part of the project. Yet for some reason town officials continue to allow these changes. The state Department of Transportation needs to fully investigate. Gateway was supposed to be privately financed. However, Costco, the proposed lead tenant, is now driving the process. Their store in New Britain is years behind schedule due to increased demands, including the annexing of land and the inclusion of a 7-year property tax abatement. Expect the same here.