Letter: One-acre purchase presents plenty positives

To the Editor:

Regarding the proposal by Charter Homes to obtain one additional acre adjacent to its current development at Sunset Lane:

As someone who will soon be moving into the development at Sunset Lane, and who has lived elsewhere in the Ridgefield area for 25 years, I read your article carefully, viewed the site map regarding the proposal, and discussed the proposal with the Charter project developers.

I have spent my entire professional career as advocate for sustainable development, and here is how I see it:

  1. Under any scenario involving Charter obtaining the one acre parcel, the Town of Ridgefield will benefit financially, both in terms of future tax revenue and by recouping at least some of the previously expended costs associated with the parcel. Since the project will be restricted to residents over 55 years old, no additional school-related costs will be incurred. To the contrary, additional taxpayers will join the school district and town tax rolls. It is just a matter of coming to terms on price — about which I offer no opinion— but there is no scenario in which Charter’s proposal will adversely affect the town financially. Only upside.
  2. The development plans will not at all adversely impact the plans for the cultural center. To the contrary, the Charter developers support the cultural center plans as a positive amenity for the town and the people living in its development.
  3. Charter’s proposal will have no adverse environmental impact. Indeed, the one acre in question was long-ago converted for commercial purposes and under Charter’s proposal it will be favorably re-landscaped. Moreover, if the town bandshell is moved from Ballard Park to Quarry Road, the location of the two townhouse buildings will reduce noise and visual impacts to the 54 homeowners living at 77 Sunset Lane, so it will be an environmental positive.

Allen Hershkowitz

Editor’s note: The writer served as Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council from 1987 to 2015.