Should Ridgefield Allow Retail along Northern Route 7?

The zoners will discuss the issue next on May 7.

It remains to be seen whether Ridgefield will see retail establishments along northern Route 7, but the town's zoners last week voted to continue the public hearing on the issue.

According to the Ridgefield Press, the proposed retail zone has since been whittled from 1.5 miles to nine-tenths of a mile in the wake of comments made at a public hearing on the issue earlier this year. Now, the proposed section consists of about 35 lots on 57 acres. 

Members of the Planning and Zoning Commission expressed mixed feelings about the project at their work session on March 26, but agreed they had a duty to hear the public's feedback on it. Some zoners said they're charged with developing the town, while others said such a project like this would be irreversible. 

In either case, by a vote of 8-1, the zoners voted to continued the public hearing until May 7. 

Tax Man Cometh March 31, 2013 at 06:08 PM
Development on Route 7? Yes. I'd much rather see chain stores on Route 7 than on Main Street. How silly that in the past we've done just the opposite. In my view, we've allowed unattractive stores to inhabit Route 7 and Danbury Road, while at the same time we religiously protected Route 7 from development. Why? Route 7 is a busy highway. That's where chainstores should go. Not on our quaint Main Street. I think we've been doing it backwards.
Eileen April 01, 2013 at 02:32 PM
I say no. Particularly if you live in the vicinity of 7. And it's true, it won't be reversible. Once, you start with something like this, it just snowballs. I know as I moved here from LI. I had lived there my whole life and I can tell you a strip mall here, and a strip mall there eventually becomes a wall of strip malls. All with varying amounts of empty stores. It becomes a major eyesore, a traffic nightmare. Really, what is out objective here? To be the next Norwalk?????
Tax Man Cometh April 01, 2013 at 02:48 PM
I hear what you are saying Eileen, but I think it comes down to only two choices. Do we want to put chain stores in the Main Street area or on Route 7? They are going to go somewhere, that's inevitable. Currently they have been springing up in the Main Street area. I think it looks awful. I'd rather see them on Route 7.
Eileen April 01, 2013 at 04:38 PM
I agree about not putting them on main street, but why is it inevitable? And again, what about the people that live around 7? What about their quality of life? Do they not matter as well? Are we considering the all the additional lighting, noise, etc., they'll be exposed to? What about their property values? Those seemed to be some of the issues surrounding the Stop & Sop gas station, now those issues are unimportant? I'm not trying to give you a hard time, but these are questions that need to be seriously considered before embracing a project such as this.
Robert Lavelle April 01, 2013 at 09:44 PM
There are limited options in this town to expand the commercial tax base. The route 7 corridor is an excellent area to house commercial and retail businesses. Quite a bit of pass-through traffic flows through that funnel and would result in good business. Homeowners need a break from shouldering too large a percentage of the tax burden for Ridgefield. Route 7 retail would be very different from the village's boutique shops and would attract a different shopper. I hope town planners give this idea serious consideration and come to a reasoned decision.


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