Category Archives: Saddle Ridge

Protect watershed lands from high density development!

Potential dangers of the Saddle Ridge development include contamination of the Aspetuck and Easton Lake Reservoirs and pollution of underground aquifers. Click here for more information. Your support is urgently needed to protect the watershed.

Stamford water supply connected to Easton development

A pipe running along Davenport Ridge Lane in Stamford on Nov. 29, 2016. Aquarion installed the pipe to bring 4 million gallons of water a day into Stamford from Bridgeport. The Stamford reservoirs are less than half what they should because of the drought. Photo: Matthew Brown / Hearst Connecticut Media

Stamford Advocate: By Angela Carella Published Friday, April 14, 2017

STAMFORD – It’s unlikely Stamfordites would have much interest in a zoning fight that’s dogging the town of Easton, half an hour to the north. The communities have little in common, other than seats in Fairfield County.
Stamford, with 130,000 residents, is diverse, largely urban, a business center known for its traffic and proximity to Manhattan. Easton, with a homogeneous population of 7,500, is largely rural. It has one traffic light and not a single commercial zone. But they have a vital connection – most of Easton is on watershed land owned by Aquarion, and its reservoirs are a big source of Stamford’s water. Now Eastoners are in court battling a development of 66 houses and duplex units that has been approved for a tract of land between two significant reservoirs – Aspetuck and Easton Lake.
Aspetuck — along with the Saugatuck Reservoir, which runs along the Easton border into Weston and Redding; and Hemlocks Reservoir, which crosses into Fairfield – are part of a system that supplies 5 million of the 11 million gallons of water Stamford uses each day. The feed can go as high as 7 million gallons a day in normal times, said Bruce Silverstone, vice president of corporate communications for Aquarion, the area’s water utility.
But, because of a drought plaguing the region, Aquarion in November installed a temporary above-ground pipe and the Easton area began feeding Stamford all 11 million gallons. The water flows far beyond Stamford. The Easton-area system is a source for all of southern Fairfield County. “We are hoping that all towns in the county that get water from us would help us,” said Bill Kupinse, a former Easton first selectman and an attorney on the board of Citizens for Easton, a group he said has “been around for about 40 years trying to protect Easton from one developer or another.”
Affordable housing
The Easton Planning and Zoning Commission approved the housing project in March, after months of debate, tacking on “a whole bunch of conditions,” Kupinse said. “But the citizens of Easton don’t think the conditions are sufficient to protect the watershed.” Continue reading

Easton Conservation/Inland Wetlands Agency never received for review an application from Saddle Ridge for the 2016 development proposal

January 3, 2017 letter to P&Z from Conservation Chair and Resident Dori Wollen:
“This is a follow up to my letter to you dated November 18, 2016 regarding the latest Saddle Ridge development proposal. As noted before, the Conservation/Inland Wetlands Agency (“Conservation”) has yet to render an opinion due to the lack of receiving a formal application from the developers. The developers continue to claim that there is no new wetland impact and therefore the 2014 Conservation permit remains valid. However, until we know the extent of the regulated activities we cannot determine their impact. This issue was last discussed at our meeting on November 15, 2016 which prompted my letter referred to above. Continue reading

Significant concerns were raised in testimony by soil scientist expert

Excerpt from letter from Environmental Planning Services, (CSE’s intervenor expert) regarding the Saddle Ridge development application to Easton P&Z:
“The Planning and Zoning Commission cannot rely on the wetland permit as the Conservation Commission’s report or approval for several reasons. The plans do not meet the conditions of the Conservation Commission 2014 permit, which included modifications to the design of the drainage and stormwater treatment systems, as well as permanent restrictions on impervious cover, restrictions on construction timing, and individual review of the site plan for each home lot that includes an upland review area. It appears that individual reviews will be required on 44 of the 49 lots. The current application and plans also do not address the condition calling for a third party engineering review of the construction, as required by the wetland permit.  The Conservation Commission conditions are also consistent with my recommendations with respect to establishment and permanent funding of a long term maintenance mechanism for the stormwater management system.  If it is true that the applicant has maintained an active appeal of the permit, these concerns are especially significant.” 

Easton Health Department did not recommend approval of Saddle Ridge

Easton Health Department did not recommend approval of the Saddle Ridge application; many concerns noted in their letter to Planning and Zoning, including:
“…The proposed subdivision is calling for 1 acre lots with both a septic system and an onsite private well. We are concerned that the water quantity may not be available to serve such a dense development. There are property owners in the vicinity of the development who have chosen to drill a second well due to insufficient water quantity. The developer must provide an answer to the question – will there be adequate water quantity to serve this development? Because of the density of the development it will be difficult, if not impossible, to drill additional wells on the individual lots and meet all code requirements.”

Easton P&Z approves high density affordable housing development on sensitive watershed property draining into two major reservoirs

Our zoning commission has approved the application for an intensive affordable housing development proposed by Saddle Ridge, “with multiple conditions.” No matter the conditions, the intensive development of this property in the watershed between two reservoirs which service over 400,000 residents in Fairfield County should not have been approved. Aquarian Water Company opposed the application, as well as various town officials and governmental entities. In a prior application by Saddle Ridge our courts previously recognized that the need to protect the watershed outweighed the need for an intensive affordable housing development by Saddle Ridge. Continue reading

Easton P&Z Approves High Density Housing Development in the Watershed


We understand how a bad law has put Easton and dozens of other communities across the state in an untenable position. Either they bow to the dictates of an irremediably flawed affordable housing statute or suffer the consequences in court. What we don’t quite understand is why our own zoning commission has ignored an extenuating factor in this instance: Intensive housing developments such as this put the watershed at risk and ultimately public health as well. All manner of so-called “safety nets” or “conditions” can’t begin to redress this blunt fact nor prevent similar developments in the future. Courts have already ruled that Easton does indeed have a unique mandate in protecting a vital public resource, yet our own town sees otherwise. We’re disappointed, but also optimistic that the best outcome – for Easton and the hundreds of thousands of Fairfield county residents who depend on this resource – will ultimately prevail.