Although Not Present for Ward Hill Village Vote, Fiorentini Made His Support Known to City Councilors

Rendering of proposed Oxford Village provided to neighbors.

Tuesday night’s City Council approval of a mixed residential and commercial “village” for Ward Hill came after a variety of well-known speakers spoke both for and against the project with one noticeable absence.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini released a letter Wednesday that told councilors ahead of time that he would instead be involved in the discussion of a new Dr. Albert B. Consentino School, also taking place Tuesday. The mayor, however, pushed for approval, calling “Oxford Crossing” “One of the finest developments to come to this city in some time.” He said the project by Tuscan Village developer Joseph Faro and his sister Deanna Gaiero, owner of Joseph’s Trattoria restaurant, meets two long-term Council objectives.

“Some city councilors over the years have pressed for expanding our tax base and for a long-term plan. This development follows our long-term plan and expands our tax base,” he wrote. Fiorentini noted the project comprised of 230 housing units, 3,000 square feet of retail, a 1,200 square-foot-bakery and a 200-seat restaurant would bring in an additional $270,000 a year in taxes.

Councilors voted 8-0 in favor of the projects with Councilor Catherine P. Rogers abstaining and leaving the room because of her family’s properties in the area.

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