'Commercial intrusion' could make Ridgefield less attractive for prospective home buyers, realtor says

Realtor Chip Neumann of Neumann Real Estate believes that the proposed winter club on Peaceable Street may cause prospective home buyers to cross Ridgefield off their list of possible places to live in Fairfield County.

"Most Fairfield County home buyers make significant financial investment in their homes," Neumann said in a press release from the Peaceable Neighborhood Alliance (PNA) Monday, Aug. 28.

"Prospective home buyers may view Ridgefield as a less attractive option if the residential-zoned property next door or nearby can become a commercial business.”

Jeff Hansen, spokesperson for the PNA, said he was pleased that the Ridgefield Neighborhood Preservation Alliance aligned with his cause last week and will support its efforts to protect Ridgefield residents from "commercial encroachment" into residentially-zoned neighborhoods.  

“We also appreciate the support of real estate experts like Chip Neumann who understand the short and long-term impact of commercial intrusion into residential neighborhoods,” Hansen said.

Hansen and his wife, Jennifer, have filed an application and petition to amend Sec. 3.2 (C) (3) of Ridgefield Zoning Regulations to delete “private clubs” as permitted uses by special permit in residential zoning districts.

The application will receive public hearing Tuesday, Sept. 5.

 “Historically, the Planning & Zoning Commission has protected residential interests, but with recent commercial-use applications it’s become clear that some regulations have become outdated and require more strict parameters," Hansen said. "Recent applications like the skate club illustrate the potential for exploitation of special permits in ways they were not originally designed or intended. 

"There is a reason why we have distinct commercial and residential zones," he added. "Both types are needed but should not be in the same place.”

More information can be found at the PNA’s website peaceableneighbors.com