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Group of neighbors band together to save community park

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By Matt McFarland

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    NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (WFSB) — A group of neighbors in New Haven saved a small park from becoming apartments.

The city of New Haven had a plan to sell Dwight neighborhood park to a Boston-based developer.

Neighbors who live near the park fought the development for years, even filing a lawsuit against the city.

Locals agree that more housing is needed, but say it shouldn’t come at the expense of the only park in the neighborhood.

Neighbors also say that while Kensington Playground has had some issues in the past, the park has come a long way.

“This place has been through its share of troubles, drug dealing, all sorts of stuff and people were ready to give up on it,” said Pat Wallace, a member of the Friends of Kensington Playground.

The Friends of Kensington Playground is a grass roots group that not only helps clean up the park but filed a lawsuit three years ago to stop the apartment project going forward.

“Dwight has less green space than any other neighborhood in New Haven, so this is a precious place,” said Pat Wallace, another member of Friends of Kensington Playground.

The Friends of the Kensington playground won their lawsuit against the city, stopping any developments from going forward at the park.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker says it’s been a challenging issue, with passionate community members on both sides, trying to balance the need for more affordable housing with the need for green space adding:

“It is time to move forward, and while not everyone may agree with the result, this decision settles the issue and this bit of Dwight neighborhood will remain a green space for the community moving forward.”

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