Planimetrics hired to revise town plan

How does Ridgefield plan infrastructure for a 100-year storm? How does it contend with the surge of ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft that change how traffic flows through town, or the frustration of neighbors concerned about the idea of businesses encroaching on residential lots? Those are questions the Planning and Zoning Commission hopes to have an answer for, as it revizes the town’s “plan of conservation and development” — a roadmap for what the town wants to encourage through planning and regulations.

The nine-member commission voted to hire Planimetrics, an Avon-based firm which worked on the plan’s last update in 2010, to develop the new plan.

“The advent of Uber and Lyft and other ride-sharing services make the world a very different place than it was 10 years ago,” said Glenn Chalder, president of Planimetrics. He also noted the importance of responding to neighbors’ concerns over business development in residential neighborhoods, the increased frequency and intensity of storms, and the challenge of encouraging the “silver tsunami” of aging baby-boomers to stay in Ridgefield.

The process of writing the plan and gathering community feedback should take about 12 to 18 months, Chalder said. His proposed work will run the town about $90,000, and includes a phone survey of the community.

The town has already approved $46,250 to pay for the work, and will likely request the same amount of money next year, Planning and Zoning Director Richard Baldelli told The Press.

Chalder most recently worked with the town on providing estimates for future development for the municipal sewer system.

“He has a very recent and very intimate knowledge of the town that I think would help us going into the plan of conservation and development,” said Chairwoman Rebecca Mucchetti said at the commission’s July 3 meeting.

“And he put a picture of my old house in the presentation,” she said, with a laugh.