Letter: Developing a sour taste

To the Editor:

Town Hall has served up a rich diet of self-congratulatory announcements about the Schlumberger site, but they come with a dose of arrogance.

An innovative change in regulations, it is said, will allow Ridgefield to meet state affordable housing requirements without ceding any local zoning controls. Of course, it just so happens that it also is tailor-made to fit plans for construction of an assisted living residence accommodating 100 people and a separate building with 12 two-bedroom apartments on two floors above a private storage business on land owned by Selectman Steve Zemo.

Mr. Zemo became the Democratic nominee for the Board of Selectmen at about the same time he was becoming interested in purchasing about five of the 17 acres the town had acquired from Schlumberger. That made it all nice and cozy and convenient.

And, as though to make it all more palatable, Mr. Zemo’s partner, Michael Taylor, claims the project will have no significant impact on the town. How gullible do they think we are?

Probably at least 50 cars for folks living and/or working there, plus dozens more, including a few trucks, coming and going, would be added daily to the traffic already choking Main Street.

And what about the added flow into the town’s wastewater treatment facilities, which are reportedly already operating near capacity?

No significant impact? That’s ludicrous.

The development planners also lauded the site for its “walkability,” but there’s a strong taste of “absurdability” in imagining residents of the apartments or assisted living home strolling down a narrow roadway, hilly and minus sidewalks, almost a half-mile to Main Street. So what’s the next “insignificant” impact on the town? Sidewalks, road reconstruction, a traffic light?

The Zemo project and the zoning accommodation for it may or may not have merit, but don’t tell us there will be no significant impact on the town.

Ed Chrostowski

Carpenter Close, Feb. 16