NEWTOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — A non-profit sanctuary in Newtown was created to honor and commemorate the life of Catherine Violet Hubbard, a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.
The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary was strategically placed in a peaceful location to promote compassion and healing through animal and human connections. But now a new construction project of a 150-unit senior housing complex could disrupt the peace at the sanctuary.
Jenny Hubbard, Catherine’s mother and the founder of the sanctuary said the developer’s new design would be a stark contrast from the space modeled after her slain six-year-old daughter.
“The sanctuary started because of her love for animals… The sanctuary is truly this pastoral setting to now see that those eight acres are really compacted with apartments and truly urban design was concerning,” Hubbard said.
The 34 acres of serenity for animals and the Newtown community has a new neighbor application and one that would share the same access road the sanctuary opened.
Sandy Hook 10 Years Later: Ground breaks at animal sanctuary dedicated to 6-year-old
Old Greenwich-based developer Teton Capital Company is proposing a new residential complex with 150 apartments in four buildings, 19 villas and a clubhouse.
The town currently owns the land and the plan is currently waiting for approval from multiple town agencies.
“Everything from the development of how it’s laid out, the amount of earth it’s moving, the utilities going in, the lighting conditions, the landscaping, the setbacks, those are just a few of the things we’d be looking at,” said Rob Sibley, director of Planning and Land Use for Newtown.
Sibley told News 8 the application is standard and is still very early in the process. He says approval will take weeks and there will be a public hearing on April 6th.
News 8 spoke with the developer who declined to speak about the design at this time.
Hubbard says the current design is 30 feet from the sanctuary and leaves no space for a green wall or barrier.
“We preserve that bond between humans and animals. They know in our care, because of Catherine, they will be safe and so it’s important for me that we remain true to that because it’s a commitment that she made and one we must carry on,” Hubbard said.
The developer still needs approval from Newtown Design Advisory Board as well as inland wetlands and planning and zoning commissions but Hubbard hopes the developer rethinks their plan.