Letter: Resident addresses affordable housing in town




To the Editor:

In the February 2 Ridgefield Press, an apparently well-intentioned and idealistic young man who claimed to be proud to be associated with DesegrateCT suggested that Ridgefield might qualify for some State benefits if it opted for a 20-unit per acre zoning district along rail and bus routes.

20 units per acre is not housing. It’s a hive!  And so grows the madness of overzealous affordable housing advocacy.  How will providing a hive benefit those abused by the evils of segregation, or of economic scarcity?  Would such persons feel blessed to be offered a cell in a gigantic hive crammed full of other hive-dwellers? Wouldn’t their sleep be disrupted by the megadecibel blaring of train horns (they haven’t been whistles for quite a while )? And what about diesel fumes and related pollutants?

And where would their children play and encounter dirt and twigs and bugs and, yes, bacteria and other microbes that help them develop strong immune systems and avoid allergies, asthma, autism and other dysfunctions of the hyper sterilized? 

For many years I have held and often stated my opinion that the best solution for providing affordable housing is to distribute it throughout the community in accessory apartments and now, thanks to more enlightened enabling legislation, accessory buildings (cabins, bungalows, etc.) on existing residential lots with adequate natural greenspace surroundings, but with restrictions to mitigate sensory disturbances like noise and light pollution. 

The most meaningful solution for those of us who truly want to mitigate the evils of segregation or poverty is to invite and welcome our less fortunate brethren deep into our community, not marginalize them in hives deliberately placed at the periphery.  

Michael J. Autuori