New Haven park advocates file suit over $1 land sale to developer

NEW HAVEN — They are not giving up.

Friends of Kensington Playground filed a court complaint over the decision of the city to sell a Dwight neighborhood park for a $1 to a developer as part of a plan to build affordable housing.

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They also filed requests for review with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and with the State Historic Preservation Office.

A request for comment was left with the city.

The complaint to HUD under the National Environmental Protection Act has been referred by the Hartford HUD office to the city’s Office of Management and Budget.

“We are continuing our fight to save our playground. It is the only public playground in the Dwight neighborhood, home to many low-income families living in rental housing. Half of the residents of our neighborhood are African American or Latinx. Our children need a (place) to play. We want to save it, and if we win, to add a playscape,” the group said in a statement.

They charged that the city failed to hold a hearing as required by state law. As they have before, the group said there is a need for affordable housing but not by taking park space. The Community Builders, the developer, has had a at times contentious history in the neighborhood over the decades.

The group continues to allege that the loss of mature trees in the park will hurt air quality.

The group has a Go Fund Me Campaign for Kensington Playground to help with legal costs, and if they win, with a playscape.

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