Easton Courier: Letter to the Editor, February 1, 2017
I urge the Easton Planning & Zoning Commission to reject the proposed Saddle Ridge development for the following reasons:
First, much evidence has been presented as to the deleterious effect this proposal will have on the public water supply, and we must err on the side of caution since tens of thousands of people drink water from our reservoirs. One need look no further than Flint, Mi. to see the potential risk. Moreover, the Aquarion Water Company opposes this plan.
Second, approval would encourage future development on the watershed, further impairing the water quality.
Third, developers often use the affordable housing law, as they are here, to circumvent local zoning regulations. They do not use the law so people can obtain housing they might otherwise not be able to afford but instead use a well-intentioned law to create high-density housing to maximize profits. This was clearly not the purpose of the law.
Fourth, there is legal precedent to deny the application since the court has already ruled against Saddle Ridge’s prior filing.
Last, 2017 marks 76 years since many of Easton’s strict zoning regulations were enacted. These laws were passed to protect public water, and there is no compelling reason to change them. This application is bad for everyone except for the developers, and it should be rejected.
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Easton Courier: Letter to the Editor, February 1, 2017
Adequate water supplies of high quality are
necessary both for community use and local
ecosystems . . .
Citizens for Easton feel the development proposed by Saddle Ridge would be a danger to our drinking water.
But…we can’t do it alone
Attendance is critical: Thursday, Dec 22 7:00 PM HKMS
Citizens for Easton relies on donations
Click HERE to donate via PayPal and add instruction “CSE” or send your checks made out to Citizens for Easton with Coalition to Save Easton (CSE) in the memo, and mail to Citizens for Easton, PO Box 151, Easton, CT 06612. CSE is a division of CFE which is a registered 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization. With your support we can continue to hire experts to help in our efforts to protect and preserve our water supply.
Rob Maquat, Planning & Zoning Chairman via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and Dori Wollen, Conservation Commission Chairperson at email@example.com, or send a letter to them at 225 Center Road, Easton, CT 06612.
Thank you for your passion, support and dedication to something that affects every one of us – the environment and the future of our town. Citizens for Easton/CSE will continue to advocate to uphold Easton’s zoning and to protect the safety of the public drinking water supply.
Easton is more than a place to live — it’s home to our most precious commodity …WATER. We feel the development proposed by Saddle Ridge would be a danger to our drinking water. The next public hearing on the Saddle Ridge high-density development application is Monday, December 12, 2016, 7:30 pm at Helen Keller Middle School. The 124-acre site is on watershed land abutting Sport Hill, Silver Hill, Cedar Hill and Westport Roads. Please attend if you can.
Easton Courier on October 15, 2016
To the Editor:
Saddle Ridge has once again submitted an application for high-density housing on the public watershed. Once again, Citizens for Easton will oppose any proposal that seeks to overturn long-standing zoning regulations designed to protect a vital resource which Easton and Fairfield County rely upon.
Eight months ago, Judge Marshall K. Berger Jr. of the Hartford District Superior Court rejected an earlier Saddle Ridge high-density application which would have imperilled the long term health and maintenance of the watershed. Saddle Ridge was subsequently denied certification for appeal, upholding Judge Berger’s decision.
The new application — which seeks one unit per acre, in addition to duplexes on 18 lots — purports to conform to the so-called affordable housing statute. However, Judge Berger argued that the protection of the watershed, along with the manifest public health issues directly related to that protection, must assume precedence over such considerations.
In opposing the earlier high-density housing application, CFE had likewise argued that issues of public health and the protection of the watershed must supercede the short term financial interests of any developer. With the full understanding that Planning & Zoning must take into careful consideration any application that comes before it, we once again urge its members to summarily reject this most recent one as well.
Citizens for Easton Board
Following is the text of The Connecticut Audubon Society’s letter submitted to Easton Board of Selectmen:
The Connecticut Audubon Society joins with Citizens for Easton in its concern about the future of 29.6 acres on South Park Avenue adjacent to the Mill River. Development of this town-owned land will compromise a small but beautiful wildlife habitat that plays an important watershed protection role for the river, and is a much-used and enjoyed passive outdoor recreational area for birdwatchers, anglers, artists and school groups. The Mill River is one of only nine Class A Wild Trout Streams left in Connecticut and is unique because it is pristine and cold enough to sustain wild trout despite being on the edge of a suburban area. Wild brook and brown trout are among 17 fish species listed as “most important” in the Connecticut Wildlife Action Plan. Preserving the property would also be consistent with Easton’s Town Plan of Conservation and Development, which states as its “cardinal principle”: “The major policies and goals of the Town Plan in respect to resource conservation are: Protect the natural, scenic, historical and cultural resources of the town, especially its wetlands, streambelts and ground water resources, but also its steep slopes, ridgelines, major trees and significant wildlife areas …” The Connecticut Audubon Society is the state’s original, independent Audubon. We and our many members in Easton look forward to your leadership as exemplary stewards of the environment by supporting the preservation the 29.6 acres on South Park Avenue as open space in perpetuity for current and future generations.