Save Glenbrook Community Center

In her recent op-ed (“When it comes to housing, Stamford can’t afford to sit still”) regarding the affordable housing development at the Glenbrook Community Center, Mayor Caroline Simmons asks “If it’s not is not here, where?

How about our community center? Glenbrook is already one of the most affordable neighborhoods in the city. We offer single and multi-family homes, condos and apartment buildings with residents of all income levels. There is no one acre zoning here. You can’t blame Glenbrook residents for NIMBY when we already have affordable housing in our neighborhood while buildings in North Stamford, Springdale and on High Ridge Road have been resisted simply due to concerns about overdevelopment.

The mayor says housing at the Glenbrook Community Center should be reserved for ‘hard working people who keep our town running’, but we have learned that this development cannot be limited to those who work in Stamford. For true Stamford workforce housing, train access is not important – bus access is. Placing the building right next to the train actually increases the likelihood of residents working elsewhere. This will not house our teachers and nurses, but rather those who use the train to travel to other towns and villages.

The city only entertained developers interested in providing housing on this site. They did not ask for formal proposals from organizations that would be open to operating the GCC as a community center. Looks like the city created a self-fulfilling prophecy here.

The reason this building has deteriorated is because the city allowed a valuable community resource to deteriorate. The city controls here and they use this control as a threat: allow this development or we will let this building fall into disrepair. This is no way to work with neighbors.

The city has an opportunity here to invest in Stamford residents – those who need the addiction support, child care, community space and activities that the Glenbrook Community Center has provided. for generations. Or they may argue that selling to a developer is the only way forward. We would like to see more effort from Mayor Simmons to save the Glenbrook Community Center and maintain the building until a supplier can be found that will give our neighborhood what it needs: a functioning community center .

Miriam Kliewe is a resident of Stamford.

Jill E. Washington