Hearing addresses Ridgefield Road

Dozens of neighbors opposed to the idea of an age-restricted housing development planned for 183 Ridgefield Road have attended a couple of Planning and Zoning Commission meetings, including one on March 13, but had no opportunity to speak against the project because it was not a public hearing.

That will not be the case on April 10, when the commission will open a public hearing on an application to revise zoning regulations pertaining to the age-restricted overlay district (AROD).

Developer Jim Fieber has proposed a 35-unit housing development for the 13.45-acre site. The project first appeared before the Planning and Zoning Commission as a referral from the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) for a sewer line extension, but Fieber withdrew that request on March 10 with no explanation of what is to come next.

Prior to that, Ridgefield Road resident Vicki Mavis had filed an application with the Planning and Zoning Commission to amend the age-restricted zoning regulations to eliminate Ridgefield Road from a list of potential AROD zones. Her application will be the subject of the public hearing.

In addition, the Wilton Land Conservation Trust has added its voice to those opposed to including Ridgefield Road as an AROD zone. A petition signed by the land trust’s president, Peter Gaboriault, was delivered to the town planning office on March 9 and was forwarded to the Planning and Zoning Commission, according to Town Planner Bob Nerney.

The land trust owns Keelers Ridge Meadow on Ridgefield Road, and one of the arguments presented is that extending the water and sewer line north on Ridgefield Road “would open up the potential for unfettered multi-family, multi-story development.”

Once properties were connected to public utilities, developers would be able to submit 8-30g applications (Connecticut Affordable Land Use Appeal Act) for affordable housing, the petition says.

When asked about this, First Selectman Lynne Vanderslice said, “Any property owner on Ridgefield Road, or any Wilton road, for that matter, who is willing to pay themselves to extend the sewer has the right to apply to the WPCA to extend the sewer. We look at each application individually based on its own merits.”

Other business

In other business March 13, the commissioners agreed to have a draft approval drawn up for a proposed change of zone from R-1A to General Business for 578 and 586 Danbury Road, site of a contractor’s yard and peat moss business.

The businesses have operated out of the residential zone many years and are a nonconforming use. The requested zone change will bring them into conformity.

“This seems sensible to me,” said Commissioner Sally Poundstone, referring to the request.

Commissioners approved a request by Staffordshire Properties LLC to allow a second apartment in a principal building and use of an accessory building for drop-off and pickup of dogs at 503 Danbury Road. The location would serve a dog kennel operating out of 499 Danbury Road.
— Jeannette Ross contributed to this story