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Signs of spring in Easton!

Water Advocates Mark World Water Day – March 22

Today, March 22,  is World Water Day. As noted in an article in the Redding Pilot, an alliance of statewide organizations and watershed associations is calling on lawmakers to safeguard Connecticut’s water resources. “Connecticut has had tremendous victories in protecting drinking water and restoring rivers, but at the same time, there are ongoing threats to the quality and quantity of our water,” said Karen Burnaska, water projects coordinator for CFE/Save the Sound.
CFE asks you to help commemorate World Water Day this week by contacting the legislators listed below to modify the affordable housing statute 8-30g to help protect our public drinking water supply watershed lands by inserting the text which is shown below in bold and italics in Subsection Subsection (g)(2)(A): Continue reading

Planning and Zoning Commission Special and Regular Meeting Monday, March 13. Conference Room A, Easton Town Hall, 225 Center Road.

Special Meeting 5:00 PM: Discuss and consider adjudication of applications by Saddle Ridge Developers, LLC
Regular Meeting 7:00 PM: Agenda including but not limited to Update of Town Plan of Conservation and Development
See link for notice: http://www.eastonct.gov/sites/eastonct/files/agenda/agenda-file/planning_and_zoning_commission_special_meeting_and_regiar_agenda_03-13-2017.pdf

Important to Act by Monday, March 6 to Protect the Purity of the Water Supply by Modifying Affordable Housing Statute 8-30g

Contact the State Housing Committee (contact info below) to recommend amending the statute by inserting the text which is shown below in bold and italics in Subsection (g)(2)(A):
(g) Upon an appeal taken under subsection (f) of this section, the burden shall be on the commission to prove, based upon the evidence in the record compiled before such commission, that the decision from which such appeal is taken and the reasons cited for such decision are supported by sufficient evidence in the record. The commission shall also have the burden to prove, based upon the evidence in the record compiled before such commission, that (1) (A) the decision is necessary to protect substantial public interests in health, safety or other matters which the commission may legally consider; (B) such public interests clearly outweigh the need for affordable housing; and (C) such public interests cannot be protected by reasonable changes to the affordable housing development, or (2) (A) the application which was the subject of the decision from which such appeal was taken would locate affordable housing in an area which is zoned for industrial use and which does not permit residential uses;  or is located in the watershed of a public drinking water supply reservoir; …”
STATE HOUSING COMMITTEE:
CO-CHAIRS
Rep. Larry Butler: Larry.Butler@cga.ct.gov (860-240-8585)
Sen. Gayle Slossberg: http://www.senatedems.ct.gov/slossberg-contact (860-240-0482)
Sen. Tony Hwang: Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov (1-800-842-1421)
VICE CHAIRS
Rep. Kim Rose: Kim.Rose@cga.ct.gov (860-240-8585)
Sen. Catherine A. Osten: Catherine.Osten@cga.ct.gov (860-240-0579)
Sen. Kevin C. Kelly: Kevin.Kelly@cga.ct.gov (1-800-842-1421)
RANKING MEMBER: Rep.Brenda.Kupchick: Brenda.Kupchick@cga.ct.gov (860-240-8700):
As noted by Julia Pemberton, First Selectman of Redding and the Redding Planning Commission in a letter to Housing Committee dated 2/15/17:
“Protection of the purity, wholesomeness and quality of the Connecticut’s public drinking water supplies is at least as essential to the health, safety and economy of the state’s citizens as safeguarding its industrial sites. Public water supply watersheds are an indispensable resource for the State’s future, and their protection is an urgent necessity of public policy. Population growth factors and climatic change variability have demonstrated the importance and of protecting the public water supply. Our recent and recurrent drought conditions are a reminder of the need for protecting this ever more stressed resource. Connecticut being a small state with limited reserves of water for the needs of its increasing population needs to focus on this critical resource.
Since enactment of Section 8-30g, many of these watersheds have been under assault by development interests utilizing this section to maximize the profit of building at higher densities than allowed by local regulations. This amendment is wholly consistent with the State’s Conservation & Development Policies Plan 2013-2018, which urges protection of the state’s essential water resources and location of new higher density development where urban infrastructure – such as water and sewer service, jobs and public transit are available.”

Saddle Ridge: “Bad for everyone except for the developers”

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.
Jim Riling

NEXT (AND MAYBE LAST) SADDLE RIDGE PUBLIC HEARING

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.

Please contact

Rob Maquat, Planning & Zoning Chairman via email at manania@eastonct.gov and Dori Wollen, Conservation Commission Chairperson at kring@eastonct.gov, 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.

Attend the Saddle Ridge Development Hearing, Monday, December 12

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.