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Letter: Don't Change Fairfield's Zoning Law

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Daily Fairfield accepts signed, original letters to the editor. Letters may be sent to gcanuel @ thedailyfairfield.com.

My wife and I just received a letter from the Town Plan and Zoning Commission (5/15) regarding the notice of a public hearing this coming Tuesday, May 22. The Zoning Regulation Amendment to be discussed at this meeting is to permit the affordable housing development of a single detached dwelling for one family plus a single detached dwelling for two families, compliant with definitions of “assisted housing” in a zoned Residence A section of town. The application for the zone change before the Commission, which will additionally be discussed at this public hearing, is for 206 and 214 Homeland St. in District 7.

In short, the applicant owns a house on a less than 5,000 square foot piece of property and owns the corner lot adjoining, also a less than 5,000 square foot plot. They want to build a two-family house (with separate entrances) on the corner plot; however, current zoning regulations prohibit them from doing so. They want to change the zoning regulations to add a new "district" definition ("Homeland Opportunity District") that will then allow them to build the two-family affordable housing and maximize their rent potential.

The neighborhood is a very family friendly location. The lots are small, which typically forces children out into the streets to play. Walking through the Merritt Street/ Homeland Street/ Brookridge Avenue/ Windemere Street neighborhood can feel like an elementary school playground and dog park combined. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of through traffic and cars parked on the street already. The change in zoning will no doubt set a horribly unsafe precedent in Fairfield. It will add to traffic, add to cars parked on the street and dangerously reduce visibility between cars and children. A child was already hit by a passing motorist on Merritt Street, and as a parent and neighborhood resident, I sincerely hope it does not happen again. It will not be long before many 10,000 square foot-plus parcel owners/landlords in a zoned A section will be using this zoning change to apply for the then-precedent variance in order to follow this rental property model.

A very large group of our neighbors are adamantly against this zoning amendment and plan on being at this Tuesday's Plan and Zoning public hearing to voice our opposition. I respectfully ask that all Fairfield residents join us in opposing this zoning change and reach out to the TP&Z Commission to let them know. Should this amendment pass, your Zone-A neighborhood can be next.

Email the TP&Z at TPZCommission@town.fairfield.ct.us .

The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, May 22, at 7:30 in McKinley School, 60 Thompson St., Fairfield.

Art Rotelli

Merritt Street, Fairfield

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