Category Archives: Legislative


alt save public lands

Planning and Zoning Hearing on Proposed Town Plan of Conservation and Development 2018-2028 29, 2018 – Monday, October 7:00pm @ Helen Keller

The proposed 2018-2028 Easton Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) is an important document that will guide the town for the next 10 years. The following remarks reflect Citizens for Easton’s mission statement to vigorously pursue, support, and encourage efforts that preserve Easton’s scenic, rural, agrarian, and small town characteristics. Our current POCD’s introduction outlines well the role of Easton and vision for the future, and we urge the Planning and Zoning Commission to retain those values in the introduction the proposed 2018-2028 POCD. Continuing development pressures, the importance of low-density housing, demands on the watershed and public drinking water supply, have only made the Introduction and Summary in our current town plan even more applicable today and into the future.

We have the following suggestions to improve the proposed Town Plan:

Exclude a Village District as it would create more issues and cost to the Town than any perceived advantages it may create:

  • Traffic, congestion, traffic lights, sidewalks and illumination will irreparably degrade rural character creating a traffic nightmare
  • Zoning enforcement would be problematic and costly
  • Threat of pollution to the Easton reservoir
  • Since Sport Hill Rd is a state road, Easton would not be in control of whatever measures the State may implement for control
  • It is doubtful that implementing a village district would create a space for social interaction-people just do not gather to socialize in stores. There are already numerous spaces in Town where people congregate like the ECC, Library, Gazebo, and the ever-popular Citizens for Easton Farm Tour
  • The tax burden would not be alleviated- It would require approximately 185 more stores similar in size to the Easton Village Store to reduce the average resident’s tax bill 10%; tax revenues would then be offset by costs of additional town services.
  • There is already a multitude of shopping in all of our border towns, so creating a commercial district in Easton for the convenience of the residents is just not necessary.
  • It would open the door for other areas of commercial development changing the rural character of Easton forever.
  • The main issue of the P&Z public meeting on June 20 was the Village District and the majority was not in favor of this proposal. This was also noted in the Easton Courier on June 28: “About twice as many speakers opposed the Village Center as favored it, with some others just raising concerns about the POCD process.” This is contrary to the first bullet point on page 1 of the draft POCD noting: “ This DRAFT is based on: Input from the community at a June 2018 informational meeting.”

Designate the town-owned 18-22 South Park Avenue property as Dedicated Open Space

  • Although there appears to be much “open space” in Easton, the updated draft notes that 6,434 acres in town is “Managed Open Space” which is not preserved or restricted to open space, nor protected from development or permanently reserved as conservation land. The preservation of the 18-22 South Park Avenue property would be a valuable addition to the town’s Dedicated Open Space.
  • The State Office of Policy and Management designated the 18-22 South Park Avenue parcel as a local conservation priority for the Town of Easton’s upcoming 2018-2023 State C&D Plan and we urge the PZC to designate it as such.
  • The 18-22 South Park Avenue property is a critical habitat for sensitive species and the Mill River is a Class 1 wild trout stream.
  • Numerous letters from many conservation organizations such as Connecticut Audubon Society, Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound, Wildlife in Crisis, National Audubon Society, Rivers Alliance and more have been submitted urging preservation of the property.
  • The entire length of South Park Avenue to the Fairfield/Trumbull border should be noted as a future scenic road.
  • The southern end of South Park Avenue should also be a “Desirable Gateway Element.”
  • The 18-22 South Park Avenue property should be added to the Mill River Valley Greenway.
  • On August 18, 2016, CFE made a presentation to the Board of Selectmen for retaining and designating the South Park property as open space preserved in perpetuity. That presentation is online at and we submit that as part of our comments.

Housing Needs

We do support the recommendations on page 44 #1a and #3 to investigate successful aging in place initiatives that could help resident seniors stay in their own homes, such as the “Stay at Home” program, whereby neighbors help neighbors “age in place” with transportation, simple home repairs and tasks, in addition to offering neighborly connections and fostering a caring sense of community. However, urge the exclusion of age-restricted and/or retirement communities. These cannot be restricted to solely serve our town’s seniors, and the cost of this type of housing is expensive. Should sales lag in newly built age-restricted, high-density developments, developers could appeal to convert the sales to non age-restricted buyers, as happened in neighboring Fairfield’s Stratfield Falls Development. The need for protection of the public drinking water supply is a critical concern, also.


CFE applauds P&Z’s efforts in exploring ways for farms to expand their base of operations to help them thrive and see a way forward in the future, so long as it does not foster congestion, traffic, – or above all – threaten the fragile watershed, the protection of which has remained a core Easton mandate for over a century. Allowing major non-agricultural uses (e.g. distilleries, breweries, etc.) is of concern since such enterprises have been known to have adverse environmental effects and should not be included in the POCD without further study.

Conservation Design Development

This type of development could be an invitation to more intensive development of land and adversely affect water quality and other natural resources. Until a more in depth study of this approach is conducted, in addition to how it relates to septic, wells and the water table, this section should not be included.  The future will put increased demands on our current reservoirs imminently such as the upcoming increased intensive use of the reservoirs to supply 1.5 million gallons a day to other Fairfield County towns

Additional Recommendations

  • Protect the town‘s groundwater resources by enacting additional aquifer and watershed protections.
  • Review the town health code with stricter standards in recognition of our town’s special environmental issues including its presence on a public water supply watershed.
  • Require a biological survey to identify species from the State Natural Diversity Database on land where development is proposed.
  • Incorporate guidelines to preserve the attractiveness of lakes and waterways; protect rare and endangered natural and archaeological features.
  • Any street lights or lights from buildings should be shielded appropriately, timed or use motion sensors.
  • POCD 5.1 Maintain and Enhance Community Facilities- Page 50- expand DPW garage by closing Bibbins: Local residents utilize this road to escape the 136 freeway. Closing this road would force the residents to be stuck in the commuter traffic. Also, the 2016 Morehouse Civic Park Amendment to the Town Plan calls for DPW Yard Relocation. If DPW garage needs to expand, doesn’t Morehouse fill that need?
  • Explore reciprocity with Fairfield and Westport regarding use of town beaches
  • Explore offering a one year subscription to the ECC for new residents

Inconsistencies with State Growth Principals

  • Principle 3: The Village District does not seem to be applicable here. The State POCD’s intent seems to be regarding competition for and generation of economic growth and development along urban arterial roads with significant commercial development.
  • Principle 4: The proposed Easton POCD seems inconsistent because it recommends (on page 60) supporting the extension of natural gas service and extension of the public water supply system to the Firemen’s Green area. The State POCD looks to minimize the need to expand infrastructure to support new development in rural areas

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Respectfully submitted,

Citizens for Easton Board


Spread the Word to Protect Public Lands Vote Yes on Question #2 on November 6th!

Gov. Malloy Signs Order Implementing the State Water Plan Reaffirms Commitment to Water as a Public Trust


(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today signed an executive order directing the state’s Water Planning Council (WPC) to immediately implement the State Water Plan that was submitted to the Connecticut General Assembly in January 2018.

The plan, which was ordered by the General Assembly through Public Act 14-163, was developed by the WPC to balance the needs of public water supply, economic development, recreation, and ecological health. It was completed through an exhaustive and transparent process that included an extended period of public comment from all stakeholders. The plan required legislative review and approval, but the legislative session ended without action from the General Assembly.

A major point of contention for some legislators was a provision in the State Water Plan’s executive summary that declares water a public trust – a declaration of public policy that has been enshrined in state statute for more than 40 years. The Governor’s executive order recommits to the definition of water as a public trust.

“The State Water Plan is a critically important initiative that puts the needs of Connecticut families ahead of the commercial interests of private water utility companies and big businesses,” Governor Malloy said. “We should all be able to agree that water is a precious resource that should be protected for the public’s interest and safeguarded for future generations in the event of emergencies. Today’s executive order does just that, ensuring that we waste no time safeguarding our clean water supply.”

In addition to implementing the State Water Plan, the executive order takes the following actions:

  • Directs the WPC to coordinate and work with the advisory group established pursuant to Section 25-33o(c) to help implement the State Water Plan.
  • Orders the WPC to resubmit the State Water Plan to the General Assembly for its review and approval by December 1.

“Connecticut’s water resources are among the purest and most well protected in the nation, and the State Water Plan ensures that this public trust resource will be wisely stewarded for future generations,” Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee said. “This plan, developed through a consensus-based stakeholder process, provides the data and guidance needed for our state to make informed choices in managing this precious resource.”

“The preservation, management and use of water is critical to Connecticut’s future,” Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino said. “I thank the Governor for championing this important, multi-year plan that is designed to ensure a balanced use of this most precious natural resource, and we look forward to working with the administration, the legislature and the other members of the Water Planning Council to enact the State Water Plan.”

“Public Trust is a policy that recognizes the public’s inherent right to clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment,” Alicea Charamut of Connecticut River Conservancy said. “Here in Connecticut, we are fortunate to have this public trust policy solidified in statute – a statute that has been in place for 40 years. But those who profit from our water resources consider this policy a threat to their bottom line and seek to undermine its principal. They claim its inclusion in Connecticut’s State Water Plan as it currently resides will introduce uncertainty and confusion. To the contrary, honoring Connecticut’s public trust policy will ensure that we have clean and adequate water for public health, the environment, recreation and the economy for generations to come.”

The WPC is comprised of representatives four agencies: the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Department of Public Health, the Office of Policy and Management and Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.

The State Water Plan is the first of its kind in Connecticut.



pz notice of meeting

By Monday, 3/13: Save the CT Council on Environmental Quality

From Connecticut Land Conservation Council:
ACTION: Submit testimony in OPPOSITION to the elimination of the Council on Environmental Quality, H.B. 7051 (Sections 9-18 and 31) (Public Hearing 3/13).

Email Your Testimony: Please email your testimony to (pdf or word format preferred), with “GAE Committee Testimony”, H.B. 7051, “CEQ” and “3/13” in subject line.
Contact your Legislators: Send them a copy of your testimony. Click HERE to find your legislators’ contact information. Organizations, businesses or other entities – please use your official letterhead. Individuals – include your name and town.

  • I oppose the elimination of CEQ.
  • CEQ is the state’s only independent environmental watch-dog agency.
  • Since 1971, CEQ has provided the public with objective and independent oversight of the state’s environment efficiently, effectively and at minimal cost ($174,000) to the state.
  • Acting through its volunteer council and just two staff, with limited support from DEEP for administrative purposes only, CEQ services include: The Environmental Monitor (project information for the public under the CT Environmental Policy Act and for notices of proposed transfers of land), Annual Reports on Environmental Quality, Special Reports (most recently, “Energy Sprawl in Connecticut”), monthly meetings and an opportunity for citizens to lodge complaints and otherwise voice concerns.
  • There is likely no state agency that does so much for so little.

Additional Information: H.B 7051 Section 31 of the bill repeals CGS Section 22a-11, the statute that establishes the CEQ. Sections 9 through 18 eliminate the CEQ’s duties and authorities pursuant to CEPA, surplus property statutes, and other laws. One CEQ duty, publication of the Environmental Monitor, is transferred to DEEP; all others are eliminated.

Public Hearing Information: A public hearing on will be held on Monday, March 13, 10:00am, by the Government Administration and Elections Committee, in Room 2A, Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Ave., Hartford.

Please contact if you would like to testify at the public hearing or need assistance submitting your comments.