Thursday, 10 January 2013 18:46

Wilton Board Holds Back on Zoning Decision

By Patricia Older | News

WILTON – After a backlash of complaints from residents feeling they had been blindsided by the proposed changes to the current zoning laws, the Wilton Town Board held off on voting on the changes at their January 3 meeting. Instead, they informed residents they would hold an informational meeting later in the month so that residents could have the time to understand the proposed changes and the ramifications of the changes.

The meeting will be held Wednesday, January 23 at 7 p.m. at the Wilton Town Hall. Residents who attended the Thursday night meeting all expressed gratitude toward the board for their decision.

“I would like to thank Art [Johnson] and board members for not rushing into this,” said David Gabay. “I am glad to see this fireside chat set up. It is a wonderful and informative opportunity for residents to know and understand and recognize what are good and not good changes.”

Bob Walsh of Worth Road agreed, adding, “Thank you. Folks deserve a synopsis of what is being proposed. I just had problems with the process itself, the whys and where forths.”

Ernst Road resident Connie Towers also thanked the board, but added that she was still bothered by the way the board initially went about the changes.

“The December meeting raised significant concerns for me,” said Towers. “People who came to Wilton researched where they wanted live and they came to Wilton because they appreciated the rural character. We want business owners to succeed, but also know people researched where they wanted to live.”

Continuing, she said that the proposed changes could significantly impact the residents of the town and that up to that point, no one on the board had bothered to adequately explain the changes or the impact they could have.

“We want someone to say where we were in 2005 and why are we making these changes now and how will we be affected,” said Towers. “People want to keep the quality of life we have and respect it.”

At the November meeting, the town board announced that the Zoning Revision Committee had finished their work and would be submitting a proposal for an amendment to the town’s zoning law. Immediately residents in attendance began to question the alterations, many of which Councilman Robert Pulsifer had termed as “minor housekeeping” changes.

By last month’s meeting residents showed up, packing the small meeting room and spilling out into the waiting area of the town hall. Many expressed anger at the process taken for the zoning changes, pointing out that the majority of the residents had not been included in the process. It was after that meeting that board officials realized they needed to give the residents the opportunity to understand and process the changes.

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