Letter in support of state Rep. candidate Bob Hebert

The state of Connecticut’s affordable housing law (8-30g) is out of control. The proposed affordable housing project on Weed Street in New Canaan is insane.

It’s a five-story 102-unit behemoth apartment building in the middle of a single family, low-density residential neighborhood. It’s only a matter of time before one of these monstrosities shows up on Main Street in Ridgefield, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. 8-30g overrides zoning and historic district regulations.

Clearly, developers have lost all restraint. They seem to be proposing maximalist projects with no concession to sound planning, good design, or community character. But, who can blame them? That’s what the law allows. Most appallingly, despite a proposal (SB169) by suburban legislators, the leadership in Hartford refused to even consider long overdue reform. It appears nothing would make them happier than to see Ridgefield overrun by huge apartment buildings.

To make matters worse, all of Ridgefield’s current state legislators voted to amend the state Zoning Enabling Act last year, to make it easier for housing activists and developers to sue Ridgefield.

It is an open question whether the lawsuit just filed against the town of Woodbridge, regarding this very issue, will be the judicial backdoor to implementing New Jersey style Fair Share affordable housing quotas. The last thing we need to do is go down that path. There are better ways forward.

No question, more needs to be done on this critical issue. Encouragingly, the town just recently enacted, on its own initiative and without state prodding, an innovative Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance and a Transit Orientated Development plan for the Branchville area.

Ridgefield needs a strong voice in Hartford for local control that will advocate for common sense housing solutions. That is why I support Bob Hebert for State Representative.

Tim Vilinskis

Olmstead Lane