Last November, after years of grassroots advocacy by concerned citizens, Ridgefield voted to amend the Town Charter and create an independent Inland Wetlands Board (IWB) separate from the Planning & Zoning Commission (P&Z). Ridgefield Democrats energetically campaigned for the change, publishing and promoting a voter guide, advocating on our website, social media, print and mass email. The vote occurred in the context of the regularly scheduled four-year Charter Revision process.
Subsequently, P&Z disclosed that an obsolete ordinance requires that P&Z, “in their capacity as the Inland Wetlands Board,” shall function as the Aquifer Protection Agency (APA) for the Town of Ridgefield. Because the ordinance is not part of the Town Charter, it fell outside the legal scope of Charter Revision Commission. When the independent IWB takes office in November 2019, the charter and the current ordinance could be in conflict, since the ordinance appears to contemplate a combined P&Z and IWB. To eliminate a potential pretext for costly, fruitless litigation, First Selectman Rudy Marconi asked the Board of Selectmen to schedule a Town Meeting so that voters may clearly assign APA to either IWB or P&Z.