My family moved to Ridgefield last fall for its fantastic schools, its great downtown, and, above all, its peaceful, private neighborhoods. They are unlike any in Fairfield County, and part of the reason we’ve topped so many “best places to live” lists through the years. But one piece of the current zoning regulations is threatening all of this, making it possible for commercial enterprises (a.k.a. “private clubs”) to invade our residential neighborhoods.

This is a tremendous, potentially town-altering moment. If the current language is not changed, thousands of Ridgefielders are going to wake up five years from now to a frighteningly different town — and they’ll wonder what happened. If the proposed amendment isn’t passed, everyone who has a neighbor with any amount of land will be on high alert. We’ll all be living with our hearts in our throats, hoping that when a “For Sale” sign goes up next door, the house sells to a family … not a corporation.

The Ridgefield I know is a town of mothers and fathers, grandparents and kids, dogs and strollers, and perhaps most importantly, neighbors. Good neighbors. Good neighbors who don't flood our streets with cars, cloak our night stars with forty-foot light poles, or wake our slumbering children with loudspeakers and boisterous crowds. If we’re not proactive, we could unwittingly prompt an age of plummeting property values, neighborhood enmity, daily noise complaints, inattentive drivers, increased traffic, and “Drive Slow — We Love Our Children” signs pleading for the good old days every twenty feet.

“Old School” and “Animal House” were funny movies. But I don’t think anyone wants to see Ridgefield’s version of Mitch-a-Palooza in their backyard. Please come out September 19 and stand up for our neighborhoods.

Laura Liberti

Peaceable Street, Sept. 6