Should town keep zoning exemption?
Approval from the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission is an important step in any large-scale development project — except when the town itself is doing the developing.
When the commission holds its next meeting, Oct. 19, members will discuss a resolution that could change the course of future development in town. The public will also have a chance to comment. The resolution would recommend that the Town Council repeal Town Ordinance 2-4 of the Municipal Code, which reads as follows:
“In accordance with section 8-2 of the General Statutes, it is hereby resolved and ordained that all property owned by the Town within the limits of the Town is exempt from any and all regulations prescribed by the Zoning Commission of the Town.”
Repeal of the ordinance would subject town building projects to a similar level of P&Z scrutiny as those of outside developers.
“Sometimes municipal development is the most intrusive development to the residents,” said commission Chairman Fred Garrity. “This would simply mean that the town can’t develop property without getting input from the public and without oversight to ensure it falls in line with our Plan of Conservation and Development.”
Adopting such a resolution would bring Trumbull into line with Fairfield and Westport, which require P&Z approval on town projects, Garrity said. It also could be reassuring to residents.
“When you look at the town’s actions on the properties near Town Hall, there is no real plan, and at the Town Council meeting, hundreds of people expressed great concern about it,” he said. There is similar concern in the community about the possible construction of a new community and/or senior center.
“Where is it going to be? How big?” Garrity said. “The public doesn’t feel comfortable with the way the system handles town projects.”
Should the commission pass the resolution, it would go to the Town Council, which would have final say on altering the language of town ordinances.