Massive Mystic project flouts sensible development

Mystic River Bluffs, as the mega project is called, is the offering of Long Island developer Jeff Respler, whose website has featured mostly modular housing. Planners today recognize that a community benefits far more by bringing mixed-use development into already developed areas in downtown settings than by sprawling out into undeveloped areas. However, the Respler proposal would bring heavy density to a quiet and semi-rural area. The Respler complex would be built on land occupied by the abandoned Mystic Oral School for the Deaf. It ultimately would be sold to Respler Homes LLC, the now “exclusive developer,” in accordance with stipulations of the State’s Purchase and Sale Agreement with the company. The selection of Respler as preferred builder was announced to the public Nov. 7, 2019. Names of other bidders responding to the town’s Request for Proposals were not released. Nor, later, was the Development Agreement, signed Feb. 4, 2020. The planned use of Tax increment financing (TIF ) would involve the town in helping finance construction. It would give the Respler group a financial incentive to promote tax-generating commercial development all along the hills above the Mystic River.

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