Big Changes in 2013: What Do You Want in Town?

Development comes to Branford in a big way in 2013.

With 2013 fast approaching, Branford looks to the new year for an array of exciting changes and development. Some widely publicized and others discussed quietly at town meetings, 2013 will be another leap in Branford's ever-changing commercial and residential development landscape. 

Most controversial is the town-owned 77-acre property known as Tabor. At the Dec. 19 regular Board of Selectman meeting First Selectman Unk DaRos presented his Master Plan for land use. The plan includes numerous recreational fields and the Public Works facility. The process has been met with several push-backs from neighbors. (For more information on the petition led by 5th District Representative Ray Ingraham, click here.) The estimated cost of the fields is $3 million, and the Public Works facility will cost an additional $8-10 million. Before the project moves forward, it will need approval from both the RTM and the Board of Finance. 

Also in early December, Planning and Zoning heard plans to tear down the old Friendly's on Leetes Island Road to bring in a bank while making room next to the Stop & Shop parking lot for a drive-through restaurant, McDonald's or Panera. 

At the same meeting, the Planning and Zoning Commission approved revisions to the original master plans for the Anchor Reef complex on the former site of the MIF building across from the Branford train station. According to the presentation, construction is expected to begin in the spring for the second building. The building will be home to an additional 30 upscale condos and will be identical to the existing structure.

The old Echlin building off of West Main Street on Branford Hill will house a new Crossfit, while over on Main Street Flavors Frozen Yogurt is finishing up preparations to open their new location. Also on Main Street, the Ambiance Luxe (wedding planners) space is now available for rent. Construction also is under way at 223 East Main Street, in between Dunkin' Donuts and Cumberland Farms gas station near the High School, for Brandis Burgers and Dogz

Ms. Judy's Emporium recently opened a new location on School Street in Stony Creek after a year-long search for a new home. The Emporium will include a preschool program, pending Planning and Zoning approval in January. 

Also the cause of much town-wide buzz is the opening of The Gun Stock in the former Arabella space on the Branford Green. The Gun Stock will sell guns and shooting equipment and aims for a mid-January opening. 

With all this development in town, we want to know what you think. What does Branford need? What don't we need? Let the conversation begin! 

Arbie January 06, 2013 at 04:29 PM
Karen: Yes we are loosing sight here of what the real issue is here....Why certain people such as yourself feel that you can dictate to others that your way or no way is the answer. Why are you intolerant to others? Fine example you are setting for your children. You seem pretty firm in your stance on the location of this store, what is your background as in how long have you lived in this town? What about those of us that do not mind the store and it's location, have we no voice? Your voice and others like you are the only ones that matter? Maybe I am sick of all the trendy clothing stores, over priced ice cream and nail & hair salons in the center of my town. Maybe I don't want a Panera on the other side of town as I will never go to it no matter where it's located. I am sick of all the housing developments and commercial developments in this once "quaint" town. Who hears my voice?
Robert B. January 06, 2013 at 05:10 PM
Arbie, your voice would be heard if it was on a logical matter. However, not even ten minutes away from where Arabella's used to be, we have John B. Sliney elementary school, the town green (popular for large events such as the Branford festival and others), the high school and countless businesses. Now, I'm certain the GunStock's owners are going to take every means they possibly can to ensure they run a safe operation. However, my example of a nutcase breaking in and coming out armed during a parade is only that. An example. It's a thought that needs to be looked at. This is why the location needs to be somewhere else. I'm sure numerous others are worried about that possibly happening. As to the security measures themselves, locked cases can be broken into by many means. This is why I brought up a hypothetical robbery occurring there, and the robber coming out armed during a parade or other big event. Or, god forbid whoever robs the GunStock in my example ran to either the Sliney school or the high school.
Robert B. January 06, 2013 at 05:13 PM
Yes, it ultimately is the location. There are other empty buildings previously used by businesses around Branford, which are zoned commercial. If the GunStock wants to open up, they can. Just not in the center of town, and not near a school. I've already e-mailed "Unk" Daros about my concerns about the location. If I hear something back, I will post his reply here so all may see it.
Maria January 06, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Thank you Robert B. Please do keep us posted, and let us know how we can unite voices.
Rockland Farm January 06, 2013 at 05:41 PM
For those that think Karen True and Maria are all of a sudden the voice of reason . I ask you to read my response to Karens last post . Now for Maria. Here are some quotes from some of Marias posts you tell me if they stayed solely on the topic of location . " How many more murders do we need to witness for the government to do something about it ? " Responding to Stu " The only requirement to get a gun in CT. is your Drivers License " ( Totally false, shows a complete lack of knowledge of CT. gun laws) . Her response to Marrisa " The solution can't never be to armed the whole population " . I don't see were any of those quotes are about location . They seem about guns to me So Maria it appears that you want the pro Gun store people to only talk about location . Yet it is perfectly ok for you to stray off topic if it suits you . You must be one of those people that are all for the first amendment as long as people only say something you agree with . But if you and others continue with false or twisted comments about the store or gun facts I and I am sure others are going to call you on it . HYPOCRITE,HYPOCRITE,HYPOCRITE Thank you !
Rockland Farm January 06, 2013 at 05:49 PM
I see Robert B. is jumping on the hypocrites lets keep it only about location bandwagon . Go back and read some of his previous posts and look how far he strayed off the location topic . It appears that as soon as the pro store crowd pointed out the lies or total lack of knowledge the anti store gang was using they retreated to a its only about location . Gimme a break .
Robert B. January 06, 2013 at 05:49 PM
@ Rockland Farm: The only hypocrite I see here is yourself. It's about the location first and foremost, yes. However, it's also about the hypothetical dangers the location presents. That having been said, it is also on topic to list the results of what happened when an armed individual walks into and opens fire inside a school building. As to police presence, you seem to overlook the time the officers need to be briefed on what's happening, the time they need to gather the manpower for such an occurrence, the time they need to stage themselves around a given location. As to one armed individual stopping another armed individual, I'm fairly certain the last time I checked, unless it's done by the hand of an officer of the law it still technically counts as murder unless it's within a private home in a castle law state.
Maria January 06, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Rockland Farm, if you're going to quote me, I'd appreciate it if you don't take it out of contest and quote the whole sentece. I didn't say that, it was said to my husband by a store owner, one who sells guns alongside cigars, here in town. So you tell me, why the shop owner said that? But don't answer to me here, let's move this conversation about guns to another forum. I understand it's hard not to get side tracked reading what some people write here. So I invite everyone to concentrate in the real issue here. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. It's not about them not opening a legal store, but their intended location. No gunstore or anything like it should open near schools or places of family recreation. It should be put to vote, and let the majority decide. That's what a true democracy does. Listens to both sides, and decides on majority. Rockland Farm, waiting for your link to the gun issue forum.
Rockland Farm January 06, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Robert B. Once again you have displayed your inability or lack of desire to try to comprehend my and others posts . You obviously did not research Ct. gun laws . And do you honestly believe it is against the law to defend your or someone elses life no matter were you are ? And that a police officer is the only one that can do that . If that were the case why are there armed security and Armored car guards ? None of them are sworn law enforcement officers with the power of arrest . As far as your comment about the time it takes police to respond, thats my point EXACTLY !!! So I guess what ever you say is on topic but if someone disagrees with you it is off topic . Yes you sir are a Hypocrite .
Arbie January 06, 2013 at 06:17 PM
Robert B.: You sir are as ignorant to guns and the laws that apply to them as they come and truly live in a fantasy world. Bit of a stretch to try and rob a gun store when most gun stores that I have been in, employees are armed in open carry. Can you even state one open gun store robbery? Then you have the person run that far on foot to either school and then be able to carry out evil let alone try to even catch their breath? Give me a break. Our seal teams couldn't even do something like that. I hope you make your family proud that you are so inept that you can not defend them but hope the government can do it for you. Did you see the overly show of force on TV the morning of the 14th? Nice display of riot gear and AR15s yet not one shot was fired in defense of the innocent victims in the school. Wise up, the government is not going to protect you, they can only respond after the fact. And lastly with out looking it up or asking anyone, right off the top of your head, do you even know who John B. Sliney was?
Rockland Farm January 06, 2013 at 06:22 PM
But Maria you still stated it in your post as if it were fact . You did not say the gun store owner gave you false information . I have no idea why the gun store owner said that, but by your asking ME why he said it you are again implying it is fact . I don't know if he said it or your husband simply misunderstood him . Maria you want to get your anti-gun point in on a post here but then want to deny me the right to respond here . When you and others keep it only about location I and others will do the same . But I won't let you ,Robert B. , Karen True go on with your anti-gun lies and misrepresentations here without rebutting you here . You guys need to practice what you preach .
Karen True January 06, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Arbie seems its important to know from me - "what is your background as in how long have you lived in this town? Is that really important? What difference would that make to the issue of the location of a gun shop in the center of town? But since its important to you- my grandparents came here in about 1910- I have lived in Branford my whole life. A lot of changes have occurred in Branford and that's progress. But progress should not include giving up common sense. I am not against guns or gun stores -- it's just my opinion that it should not be located in the center of the town that is family-oriented.
Robert B. January 06, 2013 at 09:16 PM
Ignoring Arbie and Rockland for now, since both seem to be hicks that can't understand the whole "location, location, location" and the "what if... this happened?" arguments against the GunStock's intended location, I seem to recall between the Meathouse and Shoreline Wine and Liquors there's an empty storefront. The location is not exactly in the center of town, yet it's still a central location that would better suit the needs for the owners of the GunStock.
Stuart Brainerd January 06, 2013 at 10:35 PM
Would better suit their needs or yours? From what I've read about the proposed store there will not be any guns of any kind on display where passers by can see them (even though it would be perfectly legal to do so), no neon signs advertising "get your assault weapons here!" They have now even agreed to change the name of the business so there isn't even the word "gun" in the store name. I would imagine changing the name was not as straightforward as you may think given the kind of permits and paperwork involved with such a closely regulated business. Sounds like they are being responsive to public input about their business and genuinely care enough to adapt for your peace of mind even though it is obvious you aren't going to be a customer. It's all about "location" for you but you then suggest an alternative that is just as close to another school (St. Mary's) but that would be ok. I assume your kids don't go there so it would be ok. Oh and nice dismissing those who don't share your personal opinion as "hicks" with a lack of understanding. Ironic after you posted arguments earlier that displayed your own lack of understanding. I have read all the posts about this and have seen both reasonable expressions of opinion as well as uninformed inflammatory rhetoric. There needs to be a lot more of the former and less of the latter.
Rockland Farm January 06, 2013 at 10:40 PM
I may very well be a hick .But at least I have the intelligence to look up facts and laws before I run off at the mouth . I do think I am seeing something in Robert B. and some of the others in his camp though .You folks are Snobs .You folks think you live on the right side of the tracks and everyone with a different opinion is from the wrong side of the tracks . First you tried a anti gun attack on the store with many many false statements about guns, gun laws and hunting. And when those who are more knowledgeable about those things pointed out your errors or lies you don't have the guts or intelligence to dispute them . You just retreated to a its only about the location hidy hole . I understand your point of view but I disagree with it . And have stated the facts to back up my outlook on things . Something you can't seem to do . I and many others don't have a problem with the stores location . And as much as it may hurt your pompous feelings of superiority you and no one else has the right to tell someone where the can have a legal business . I think the owners of the store get to determine what suits their needs not you .Robert B. I think you are the one with the problem understanding .I asked you to look up some facts and it was too difficult a task for you .Or what is more likely you did look some things up and discovered that you had made some pretty stupid statements. Sorry to be the one to point out to you so late in life your not the know it all you think you are
Jaybee January 07, 2013 at 03:21 AM
Wow, so much for intelligent conversation. Snobs, hicks, stupid statements, pompous, on and on and on. Are you guys trying to convince anyone of your opinions, or just flapping your key boards? Since we only want to speak about the Gun Stock, how about a conversation about what we want people to see, when they drive by our green? Is it warm and inviting, getting people to stop and sit and converse, or is it things that make people uneasy and keep moving on? That's what's important to keep a town alive, so that you can enjoy your time here, be it five years or a lifetime.
Robert B. January 07, 2013 at 04:20 AM
Jaybee, that is exactly the reason why the gun store proposed for the old Arabella location needs to go elsewhere. Look at the nature of the businesses already located in the center of Branford: Doctor's offices, churches, the town hall, 3 schools within 5 minutes driving range, ice cream parlors, restaurants, a grocery store, a book and card shop, a pottery store, a candy store, clothing shops, a pharmacy. Seems pretty inviting, right? Somewhere you can safely bring the kids and family around to for large events like parades and the town festival. Throw a gun shop into the mix and people might be a bit too leery of bringing their family to the green for any reason.
Rockland Farm January 07, 2013 at 11:18 AM
First off let me apologize for stooping to Robert B.s level . I should not have done that . It was a result of my frustration at his and others inability to accept facts . Jaybee as I have stated before I will be happy to stick to just voicing my opinion on the stores location if others do the same . But you can't throw in a dig at guns ,gun owners or gun laws and when someone disputes it say hey stay on the topic of location . And after reading your previous posts Jaybee it seems you are just as prone to stray off topic as any of us . Appears you might have done a little keyboard flapping of your own .I honestly don't see how you can have one discussion without the other . Gun stores are either OK or Not OK . If you perceive one as a problem then moving it a few mile in one direction or another is just making your problem someone else's . If your Ok with gun stores it really should not matter where in town it is . From what I have seen , read and been told the only difference in outer appearance will be the sign which doesn't even have the word gun in it . The owners actually changed the name of their store which is no easy matter this far along .So it seems to me the store will be just as warm and inviting as it was before . And a diversity of business is what will bring more people to the Center of Branford .Not everyone is afraid of a gun store and looks at one any different than any other retail establishment .
Rockland Farm January 07, 2013 at 12:41 PM
As I went back and re-read some peoples previous posts . It was interesting and I did get a chuckle out of Robert B.s post against a tax on violent video games proposed in a post by Jaybee .Very interesting and on topic location posts .
Robert B. January 07, 2013 at 12:47 PM
http://branford.patch.com/articles/tgs-outdoors-sporting-goods-shop-comes-to-the-green Just read this article, and it now makes it a horse of a different color. Mike Higgins, the owner of TGS Outdoors, seems to want to sell more than just guns and ammunition. If anyone's been to North Cove Outfitters in Old Saybrook when it was open, he says he's trying to give that store a literal rebirth here in Branford. Now for the big question. From the article, I can see that hunting equipment, archery equipment, optics such as telescopes, will be sold. If Mike Higgins intends to make it a true sports store, why not also sell fishing equipment as well to cater to every outdoor sportsman that lives here?
Rockland Farm January 07, 2013 at 01:14 PM
I guess everyone reads something and gets something different out of it . I read the article and after having been in the store when it was Arabellas get the impression that it is simply a space issue . Perhaps they will have some fishing supplies in stock . Also any business has to start off small and grow .They stated that they hope to out grow their present location in time . Also for all I know maybe there are a lot of bait and tackle stores near enough that the market is already flooded with stores selling that stuff . Maybe they will sell boots or tents or canoes when space allows . Mike and Brian are pretty sharp guys I am sure they have a business plan that they are following that will allow them to establish themselves and have their business grow .If they are successful at their present location and grow I am sure their inventory will grow and become even more diverse . To be successful you have to sell what sells right?
LittleB January 12, 2013 at 03:17 AM
You all should watch this its an eye opener https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8D8b51EwrI
Arbie January 14, 2013 at 02:11 AM
sam January 14, 2013 at 02:41 AM
Rockland Farm January 14, 2013 at 04:24 PM
Two good links .I hope everyone reads and watches them both a few times .At first I thought the youtube video was not 100% truthful and posted as such .But after doing some more research and watching more videos of fully automatic M-16s and semi-automatic AR-15s I came to the conclusion that a highly trained and experienced person probably could shoot a semi-auto that fast .It is most certainly not the norm but doable .Although in that video you can't see if the guy is pulling the trigger for each shot it isn't clear .And of course it doesn't show if he hit a darn thing , it does show how fast a practiced ,experienced and well trained defensive shooter can fire and reload . If in fact some schools do decide to protect our children I hope experienced people like him are available for training security staff . Also I thought the link for anti-gunners in the video was interesting .
Arbie January 14, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Rockland Farm, You are well-versed and well spoken, I truly hope you attend the meeting tonight and become a member of the board. We need people such as yourself to represent us.
AR Conservative February 20, 2013 at 07:08 AM
Wow, I sure live in a town full of Obama dick lickers. So many of you people are such pussies its unbelievable. I went into the store today and purchased some range amo for my revolver. Nice staff, and for being open for 3 weeks they appear to be starting strong. Mike Higgins and his business partner have earned a loyal customer today. Leave them the fuck alone people!!
Jaybee February 20, 2013 at 12:46 PM
Nice to hear a business doing well. If you are lucky, maybe Obama will invite you to shoot skeet with him.
AR Conservative March 12, 2013 at 05:38 AM
indeed!!!! bhahahaha. I need to get out of this town. People and their family, lushy pussy bs. I have learned to truly hate the people in branford ahhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Chandler Covey May 15, 2013 at 03:16 PM
I have always loved this town. It would be nice to get a good gun store on main street. At least, my brothers and I would love that. We would love it if www.boydsgunstocks.com came to town. They have some of the most incredible products that would be perfect for this town!


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