The University of Connecticut and the Town of Mansfield came to an agreement regarding building developments in Mansfield after concerns surrounding the University’s plans arose. The agreement was reached last Tuesday during a meeting between leaders of Mansfield and the UConn Interim President Dr. Andrew Agwunobi.
In their meeting, the University and Town of Mansfield were able to create a plan for development that would benefit both parties and settle some conflicts.
Dr. Agwunobi spoke with Mansfield Mayor Antonia Moran, Deputy Mayor Ben Shaiken and Town Manager Ryan Aylesworth in the meeting.
The University and Town of Mansfield agreed that UConn would drop a previous legal opposition of a project proposed by the Town of Mansfield. The project was known as Haven at Four Corners, located on Rte. 195. The project would entail almost 400 dwelling units and about 15,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, according to a press release.
“UConn and Mansfield need to agree on what will enrich this community that we share, and work together to make it happen. By dropping the opposition to the Haven project, UConn helps us signal to developers that Mansfield is open for business. We appreciate that,” Moran said.
Both parties understand the key relationship they hold with one another and the importance of working together in order to better both the UConn and Town of Mansfield communities, according to a press release.
“UConn deeply values our partnership with the Town of Mansfield, and we believe that whenever possible a collaborative approach to local residential and commercial development will yield the best results,” Agwunobi said.
Although agreements have been made, UConn and the Town of Mansfield have not agreed on all areas of development.
UConn recently bought 19.23 acres of land to be primarily used for commercial and residential purposes. The purchase of this land caused the permanent removal of Mansfield’s tax rolls and halted the town’s plan to build over 350 multi-family housing units.
These units would have contributed $1.4 million seed money which the town planned to use for an affordable housing act.
“After such a long, positive relationship with UConn, we were blindsided by the purchase of the Capstone project property designated for development, and the loss of that funding for affordable housing is a tremendous blow,” Moran said.
Mansfield officials have continuously expressed frustrations to the UConn President’s office, Board of Trustees and the Governor’s office regarding the University’s purchase of the Capstone project’s land.
Despite disputes, both parties remain hopeful that their relationship and ideas regarding development will strengthen, according to a press release.
Since then, Dr. Agwunobi and the Town of Mansfield leaders have made arrangements to continue to further discuss development plans.
“I’m hopeful we can get this relationship back on track given Dr. Agwunobi’s renewed commitment to work with us,” Moran said.