Letter: Don’t blame the applicant

To the Editor:

Neighbors rightfully outraged, disturbed and disquieted by the glaring assault on what used to be a quiet greenhouse use harboring plants that emitted neither light nor noise and generated little traffic might pause to reconsider blaming the applicant or his attorney.

The April 28, 2017 Draft Agenda of the Planning and Zoning Commission, Item 5 under New Items, #2017-022-PRE, reads:

“Pre-submission Concept meeting to discuss Winter Club House, Outdoor Ice Rink, Tennis Court and Multi-Purpose Turf field at 340 Peaceable Street, applicant Robert R. Jewell, Esq. For discussion.”

The essential purpose of a pre-submission concept review is to let potential applicants know whether or not they should proceed with an idea or proposal — i.e., spend the time and money for a full application. Say no, and if they do proceed, they do so at their peril. Say yes, show us more, go ahead, and, well, …

All the on-going and undoubtedly future commotion, aggravation, lost sleep, interpersonal domestic restlessness, anticipated environmental degradation and enormous expenditure of time energy and, yes, dollars on both sides of the debate could have been avoided if  the P&Z Commission, back then in April, 2017, had considered the “Concept” and said…

No! Do not proceed with this “Club.” It is inappropriate to the quiet residential neighborhood and would never pass the criteria necessary for approval in the special permit process.

But they didn’t say no, and here we are once again engaging in a battle to preserve the “Peaceable” in a beautiful section of Ridgefield.

Michael J. Autuori

Florida Road, Sept. 21