Some 70 multifamily units could be built on 13 acres just north of the Ridgefield-Danbury line, across from Ridgefield’s Turner Hill neighborhood.
“The beginning of the end for north Ridgebury,” said Planning and Zoning Commission member John Katz, who lives on Ridgebury Road.
“It’s a terrible idea,” said Commission member Nelson Gelfman.
Because the property is in Danbury, however, Ridgefield’s Planning and Zoning Commission can do no more than offer an advisory opinion to the neighboring city’s planning officials.
Tuesday night, Jan. 8, the commission discussed what to say in a letter to Danbury concerning a proposed change of zone to allow the multifamily development.
It was something of a surprise that Mr. Katz — always protective of his Ridgebury stomping grounds — urged the commission to grudgingly support the zone change.
With a lesser-of-evils strategy, he figured the proposed multifamily development was less troubling than what might be built on the site under Danbury’s current zoning there, which allows a wide variety of industrial uses.
“If they don’t rezone it, they’re staying with IL-40, which allows every sin Danbury knows how to commit,” Mr. Katz said.
The property in question is on the corner of Saw Mill Road and Turner Road, just east of the site Danbury recently approved for the Belimo manufacturing facility, which is expected to draw large rotating shifts of workers to the area — to the chagrin of many Turner Hill residents.
The correspondence from Danbury suggested that while the developer of the site planned only 70 units of housing on the 13 acres, the zone being sought might allow 90.
Mr. Katz said the commission’s letter to Danbury should suggest that the city attempt to get the developer to agree to a deed restriction limiting the housing density to what he says he plans.
“I think we’d be well served limiting development there to 70 units,” Mr. Katz said.
“And, they cluster it to minimize impact on the wetland,” suggested Phil Mische.
“They’ll be clustered, believe me,” said George Hanlon.
“It’s all wetland,” Joe Fossi added. “They have to be clustered.”
The concept plans show two 35-unit apartment buildings, roughly across Turner Road from McKeon Place.