West Haven’s Allingtown may have a new walk-in urgent care clinic

WEST HAVEN — Can a walk-in clinic be the cure for the frayed relationship between a major developer and the city?

The Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday approved a special permit for a developer to convert 15,566 square feet of retail space in the Park View mixed-use building in the city’s Allingtown neighborhood into a free clinic. appointment. According to attorney Mark Sklarz, who represented developer Acorn Group before the commission, the developers have been in talks with Hartford HealthCare since last May to have an urgent care clinic as a tenant in its Cellini Place building.

Acorn Group Vice Chairman Gary Letendre told the commission that the health care group signed a lease for the space on January 7, but was awaiting necessary approvals before applying for planning permission to transform the space in the clinic.

“It’s something that’s going to benefit the community,” Letendre said. According to Letendre, Hartford HealthCare told Acorn Group that its planned opening will be in the spring of this year. A request for comment to Hartford HealthCare was not returned Wednesday.

A day before the commission was approved, Letendre appeared before City Council and Mayor Nancy Rossi to request a full-time Economic Development Commissioner. In his remarks, he threatened that the developer would not do more development without better communication.

“We’re an extremely frustrated developer,” he told the board during a Monday meeting. “We hope this council and this mayor will work together for the voters who elected them.”

Letendre said he has worked with four mayors and five economic development commissioners, listing them by name. However, the city hasn’t had someone with that title since late 2020, with the duties instead split among several city hall employees.

“We, the Acorn Group, are done growing until there is a level of cooperation and an economic plan in place,” Letendre said.

Rossi said she believed the city was able to address Letendre’s communication concerns, but the city charter also only allowed for a commissioner of planning and development or a director of the city. planning and zoning. Currently, the city has a Director of Planning and Zoning.

The charter states that the director of planning and zoning “shall exist in the absence of the office of commissioner”.

However, Rossi supports having a part-time position which can help City raise their profile.

“I am looking for a consultant and we will advertise for this in the future,” she said. “I totally believe that economic development is one of the most important things.”

Rossi said she thought the walk-in clinic was “a great fit for Allingtown.”

Earlier this month, the Board of Police Commissioners approved 12 parking spaces in front of the building for medical personnel. Letendre said there will be signs pointing to as many and the University of New Haven police will assist with enforcement. The speed limit will be changed to 15 mph and rumble strips will be added.

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