To the Editors:

(The following letter to members of the Inland Wetlands Commission is reprinted here at the author’s request.)

Having been raised on rural New Jersey farmland, I value the balance of environmental impacts.

When the campaign for first selectman was underway, there was a good deal of conversation about the need for greater variety of housing. These conversations made me curious about the processes through which a developer or individual wanting to develop build-able lots has to go. To learn more I went to town hall where I learned of the Brubeck Trust’s application to your commission for approval to build on six lots that were approved as build-able in 1968 -—current case number 2429(S).  Since that time, the Brubecks have paid Wilton property taxes close to $900,000.

To be sure that current protections are adhered to, a great many dedicated volunteers spend countless hours in meetings and out on site walks. I learned that there are neighbors from three abutting properties who have expressed concerns requiring more meetings, more attorneys, more experts, more cost and postponements. I reviewed the plans with interest and having been a major in cartography/geography and having designed printed circuit boards, I understand maps, contours, water source icons, etc.   

I endorse the Brubeck Trust’s application to develop these defined lots knowing their efforts to adhere to current regulations and protections is foremost in their planning. In addition, the development of six lots on 20-plus acres can hardly be defined as dense development. There does seem to be an effort being made to make this process more difficult, time consuming and expensive. If that effort is to further assure the balance of nature is maintained, the prolonged process might be worth it. If it is an annoyance factor in hopes the application will be permanently withdrawn, I find that disturbing.

The Brubeck family has shared the beauty and advantages of the land Dave and Iola acquired half a century ago. If recalling correctly, in one of Dave’s many breakaway moments during concerts, he articulated how he came upon the groundbreaking 5/4 time. That was by listening to the sound of the hooves of the horses on the cobblestone courtyards in the ranch he grew up on in northern California. This property is Dave and Iola’s literal legacy, their family’s inheritance. The affection and regard their children and families have for maintaining a healthy balance for the property they now own reflects their parents’ passion.

I do hope an acceptance of the update for these previously approved lots can be concluded in a timely fashion.  

With respect and admiration for the work you do that goes mostly unnoticed — that is until someone like me takes a peek,

Very Sincerely,
Judy Higby (Judith F. Higby)
Keeler’s Ridge Road, April 12