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    Monday, February 26, 2024

    Stonington rejects parking meters, increased fines

    Stonington ― Residents on Monday narrowly rejected a proposed update to a traffic ordinance that would have increased fines and allowed the town to install parking meters.

    The vote at Monday’s town meeting was 71-65 to reject the update.

    The traffic amendment had called for increasing fines for parking violations from $25 to $50 and was designed to address a parking problem issue often found along North Stonington Road near Clyde’s Cider Mill.

    The proposed amendment would also have allowed the Board of Police Commissioners to authorize parking meters in town, set the cost and time limits for meters, and control the hours during which drivers would need to use the meters.

    Residents did approve the creation of a Housing Opportunities Commission, that would focus on town issues related to creating an affordable housing plan.

    They also approved an ordinance creating the Stonington Village Cultural District, which will encompass much of the area from the Velvet Mill to the Lighthouse Museum, and the Mystic Bridge Cultural District, which will include most of downtown Mystic from Mystic Seaport Museum to the drawbridge.

    Cultural districts, which are authorized by the state, are intended to promote economic growth and development, expand the tax base, increase tourism and highlight the distinctive character, culture and history of the area.

    The ordinance also established a Cultural District Commission of seven volunteers which would be required to develop a map and inventory of the cultural assets of each district, establish measurable goals and objectives for the districts, and create marketing and management plans.

    Cultural districts can qualify for state resources such as promotion by the Connecticut Office of Tourism, Connecticut Office of the Arts and the Cultural Coalition, which is the designated regional service organization for the southeastern Connecticut.

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