Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Condos are not universally bad. You wouldn't know it from the way people in Waterbury have been talking lately, but it's true. Locally, take a look at Heritage Village. That was built many decades ago, but is still high quality and very park-like, with the winding roads and dense woods.

The problem is that condos in Waterbury are almost always built with the cheapest materials and methods. They are some of the ugliest buildings you will ever see, easily considered a blight even when they are well maintained. Bradley Gardens is one of the worst and is a proven fire hazard, but it is certainly not the only example of shoddy condo construction in Waterbury.

Residents of the "nicer" neighborhoods have been complaining loudly about how they don't want condo developments, but I suspect that it's not condos in general they are opposed to, it's the slum-like condos that typically get built in Waterbury that they are resisting.

Building codes typically deal with safety issues. Aesthetics are harder to pin down and enforce. But what about enforcing a minimum ratio of built acres to landscaped acres? How about enforcing a certain number of shade trees per landscaped acres? While I'm at it, how about requiring any new building development to construct sidewalks?

I could keep going with the wish list for a while!


Peter said...

Is Bradley Gardens on the north side of Bradley just before a big curve in the road? If so, the complex was not built as condominiums. It was built as an apartment complex many years ago, in the 1960's or even earlier, and converted to condominiums at some later date. I was in one of the units briefly sometime in the late 1980's, and even then I noticed that the place was a bit tattered looking.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that the MayorDeveloper puts no premium on the type of development in this City. We were given the empty promise 'no new condos'.

Condos are not evil, but the overdevelopment of neighborhoods destroys the type of City we have.

Cynthia said...

How about revamping and revitilizing the areas near donwtown?
I see so many nice housing opportunities in inner city Waterbury. Literally hundreds of nice houses boarded up, huge, beautiful old industrial buildings that could be turned into lofts and great apartment complexes.
I see all the awful depressing blight as green, sustainable and affordable housing opportunities being overlooked in favor of sprawl. Makes me wish I was some big time developer with the money and means to tackle this.

I was just talking to a friend who was born and raised in this city, and she was telling me how beautiful Waterbury once was.I love this city could be so much more that it is now. Would love to see it back in its former glory.