Residents on Christopher Court in East Hartford get along well with each other, but they're concerned about a new neighbor looking to move in at the cul-de-sac toward the end of their quiet street – a church.
“We have nothing against the church,” Celine Goorahoo, who bought her house in the neighborhood in 1997. “It’s not the church. It’s the traffic.”
The Pentecostals of Greater Hartford applied to build a 14,000 square foot church on the 19-acre wooded land, meaning Christopher Street would be the only way in and out.
“We will never be able to get out of our driveway. Never!” said Goorahoo. “And when they disturb that land, [they disturb] a lot of creatures. Where is it going to drift? To our homes.”
Goorahoo said the dead-end cul-de-sac was one of the reasons she bought her home because it allowed her kids to play freely.
Don Alex has lived across the street for nearly 20 years and feels the same. “I have one granddaughter that lives with me, and you know, all that traffic plus her playing in the front yard.”
While the East Hartford Planning and Zoning Commission was scheduled to vote on this application on June 25, residents said that the sign advertising the hearing wasn't visible, posted on a tree trunk tucked behind other trees and obscured by branches and leave.
“We’re the taxpayers here,” said Goorahoo. “The church is going to be tax-exempt. We’re the ones that are going to be picking up the [slack]. We should have a say.”
East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc declined to comment. So did members of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
One commissioner said planning and zoning is waiting to be briefed on the application at the Aug. 13 meeting.
Christopher Street residents plan to attend.