October 5, 2022

Old Lyme Committee’s Survey on Vision for Sound View Area Open for Final Week, All Welcome to Respond

An August 2022 aerial view of Shore Road in Old Lyme looking west. Photo by Baxter Real Estate Media.

OLD LYME —  Old Lyme’s year-round and seasonal residents as well as business owners are being asked to participate in a survey to build a vision for the Shoreline Gateway area of the town. The survey, which is available at this link and also in paper form, is being conducted by the Old Lyme (OL) Shoreline Gateway Committee.

The committee was formed in February 2022 when the OL Economic Development Commission recommended its creation to the OL Board of Selectmen.

The survey will be used by the Committee to build a vision — and potentially a master plan – for the “gateway” to the town’s beach communities, a key area for its summer business season.

The Shoreline Gateway is defined as Old Lyme’s Shore Rd. (Rte. 156) from Otter Rock Rd. to Breen Ave., plus Hartford Ave. 

The Gateway area is currently a mix of single family residences and summer cottages, as well as small businesses. There are currently a number of commercial properties for sale, including some in blighted conditions.

The committee is solely focused on the commercially-zoned properties, including those in the Sound View Village District on Hartford Ave.

The survey asks year-round and seasonal OL residents, and business owners about their experiences and perceptions of the Gateway area as well as their vision for its future.

“This is an opportunity for people to have their opinions heard, and to help reach a consensus that will meet the future needs of the town’s residents, businesses, and the local environment,” said OL Selectwoman Martha Shoemaker, who co-chairs the committee with OL Selectman Matthew Ward.

She continued, “We are building an inclusive process as we preserve this important and historical area while positioning it for future generations to enjoy.” 

Asked by LymeLine whether there could be confusion on the committee’s mission due to its focus o commercially-zoned properties in an area that includes residential housing, Shoemaker agreed, “The zoning for the area is confusing as it allows for some mixed use.” She continued, “We are also hoping to incorporate the Sound View Village District into the area at the top of Hartford Avenue from Cross Lane to the Police Station.  Even in that small stretch we have some residential properties.”

Shoemaker noted, “Now that we have Eric Knapp, Land Use Coordinator, on board at Town Hall we can look at zoning issues within these areas,” stressing, “We do not want the residents on the south side of 156 (Shore Rd.) to think that we are thinking of changing their current zoning codes – that stays as is.”

When it was created, the board of selectmen appointed a variety of interested community members to the committee including beach association members, and townspeople with expertise in areas such as zoning, community beautification, small business development, and housing.

The committee began meeting in April 2022 and, in addition to its development of the community survey, has begun to assess the area’s current zoning and has looked at improvements made by other beachside communities.

The Shoreline Gateway Survey closes Friday, Oct. 7, 2022.

For more information, contact the Selectman’s Office at 860-434-1605 or visit this link

Editor’s Notes: i) Printed copies of the survey will be available at the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall beginning Wednesday, Sept. 7. The online survey is at this link.

ii) This article is based on a press release issued by the Old Lyme Shoreline Gateway Committee.

Comments

  1. Jonathan B. Wilder says

    I have always thought that a good idea for Sound View would be to grant them full independence from Old Lyme and let them be their own town.For decades their problems are seemingly endless and the solutions do not really match the direction the rest of Old Lyme is trying to go in.It is an idea whose time has come.

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