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Fairfield Citizen

Monday, December 22, 2014

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Letter: 2 complexes on 1 street too much

Published 10:49 am, Friday, March 7, 2014
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I have lived on Fairchild Avenue for three decades. It's a deadend street, known mostly because of Mancuso's Restaurant on the corner of Fairchild and Kings Highway. I raised two sons in that neighborhood. My eldest son worked at Mancuso's when it was called Three Brothers Pizza. I will probably die in that neighborhood. In fact, I live a few hundred feet from the 54-unit affordable housing project that will open at the end of Fairchild Avenue this spring.

Now another developer wants to add a 66-bedroom affordable housing complex across the street. In order to build the new complex, the developer needs a waiver. On a half-acre parcel, the developer wants 66 bedrooms -- four times as many bedrooms as the 54-unit complex has.

So within a short period of time, the number of people within a few hundred feet of my home will increase by at least 120. The density will more than double the population and traffic density on the street that was too narrow even before either complex was proposed and that has a dangerous outlet onto Kings Highway.

The town needs affordable housing, and it's in my backyard. Individuals also have the right to build as the zoning allows. Developers, though, want zoning to suit their needs, not those of the community. The developer of the 54-unit got his after the Zoning Board foolishly killed the project entirely rather than denying him a waiver on parking spaces. Now, Berwick Fairchild and Associates wants even more waivers.

So should the town allow Berwick Fairchild and Associates to develop affordable housing on less than half an acre? Yes. Should the number of bedrooms be four times greater than the complex across the street? No.

By the way, I don't live in some suburban ghetto, as implied by some on online media. My neighborhood has been a thriving section of Fairfield for more than a century. It's a section of town that contributes more in tax revenue per acre that most areas of town. This is the home of the town's working class. They are proud of their families. They are proud of the lives that they have built. They are proud of their small homes on their small lots. And I am proud to call them my neighbors.

Joseph Conlin

Fairfield