Letter: Who wants to live next to a motel?
To the Editor:
Once again, families in Ridgefield are faced with the threat of a commercial business forcing its way, unwelcomely, into a residentially zoned area. The bed and breakfast application submitted for 47 Circle Drive would set an awful precedent for neighborhoods throughout the town, undermining the fundamental reason why people purchased houses in a residential neighborhood — to make a home among other permanent residents — not to live in a transient motel zone. Allowing the application to go through would be without precedent — there is only one operating B&B in Ridgefield and it’s not smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood of families.
Those who would convert their residential home to a short-term rental property are committing a blatantly selfish act: the owners benefit financially from additional rental income and saddle their neighbors with all of the costs — reduced safety from introducing hundreds of strangers into a neighborhood, lowering home values, and robbing their neighbors of what they purchased — a home among other permanent residents — not hundreds of temporary strangers a year.
When someone purchases a home in a residential zone they should not have the right to turn it into a transient motel to the severe detriment of their neighbors. Should we just accept that we will never know who our neighbors will be any given day? For families raising young children — must we be constantly exposed to the drastically increased risk that rooms will be rented to someone wishing to do our children harm? Are we to kid ourselves that this will not considerably reduce the value of the most significant financial asset many of us have — our homes?
Ask yourself this: if it were your neighbor, would you want to live next to a motel?