Letter: Branchville TOD letter misrepresented facts

To the Editor:

Michael Autori’s letter railing against transit-oriented development (TOD) is completely misguided. First, TOD is not “affordable housing.” It’s market-rate housing, built in higher density near a transit hub in order to reduce congestion on our roads. It tends to attract younger people, as well as older residents, who don’t need large homes, so it’s naturally less costly. If there is an affordable housing component through development incentives or subsidies, that’s something else entirely.

Further, TOD is not simply housing. It considers commercial development as well. The Branchville proposal envisions a small, attractive, well-thought-out community within walking distance of the Branchville station. It would be private development by private builders — in fact, the Branchville proposal projects a large return in tax revenue.

To characterize Branchville TOD in his letter using the loaded term “ghetto” is, well —Michael, I know you’re better than that.

The cutbacks in rail service to Branchville are temporary. Public transit remains a cornerstone of economic development in Connecticut. And TOD is not merely viable, it’s a powerful and effective way to build our future.

Dave Goldenberg

Ridgefield, March 7