Defend the Ethos of Ridgefield   

by Michael Raduazzo, Chairman Ridgefield Republican Town Committee

 

As you read this, officials in Hartford are weighing state-wide zoning regulations with disastrous implications for Ridgefield.  Capitol lawmakers, driven by lobbyists such as the Home Builders & Remodelers Association and other groups, are working to seize zoning authority from the residents of Connecticut’s towns. Their efforts would allow developers to deconstruct the ethos of our community, bypassing decades of protective local regulations positioned to safeguard the charming character of Ridgefield for future generations.  

Without these protections we may find that Ridgefield will go the way of many once beautiful towns, now overburdened by high-density residential complexes, lax neighborhood zoning, and overly developed town centers lacking in character and unworthy of our New England heritage.  Hartford is setting a banquet for their deep-pocketed real-estate developers, leaving the cheque and hangover for our town to pick-up.

The disastrous proposals contained in Bills 804, 1024, 6570 and others solve nothing and offer only overdevelopment and overreach.

Overdevelopment: “Area of Opportunities” for developers will allow for as-of-right development of duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, cottage clusters, and townhouses in 50% of the area within a 0.5 mile radius of transit stations and within 0.25 mile radius of Main Street. As-of-right means developers can build without public hearings, without parking requirements, and minimal zoning board input.  Affected homeowners would therefore have no voice.  One neighboring town estimated housing density would increase 3 to 5 times over its already increased multifamily housing development.

Overreach:  “Areas of Opportunity” are an expansion of cities by 15 miles into towns that have not met state mandated affordable housing goals.  The cities’ Housing Authority could build in these towns.  This would allow for unchecked development and destruction of our small towns.

We do not want Hartford’s disruptive influence. Together our town is applying smart solutions to our affordable housing questions. These efforts must be driven by logic and community support. We reject state lawmakers using emotional appeals to further the self-serving interests of real estate developers and those with an agenda.

We call upon State Senator Will Haskell, State Representative Aimee Berger-Girvalo, and First Selectman Rudy Marconi to reject the efforts of real estate developers to deconstruct our zoning. Unfortunately, we doubt they will heed our warning. Therefore, we appeal to our readers to let our officials know that local zoning control must remain within the town and that we reject all bills that aim to nullify that control.  Even a brief email will be impactful.

We are lucky to have Greenwich’s State Representative Kimberly Fiorello to fight for towns like ours. Now is the time for us to support her, sending a resounding message to Hartford that community zoning should remain independent.  See ct169strong.org for in-depth details.

We are your Ridgefield Republican Town Committee; we stand with you.