Letter to the Editor: Land use decisions are the foundation for so many goals

Land use decisions are the foundation for so many goals

I want to thank the voters of Fairfield for electing me as a commissioner of the Town Plan & Zoning Commission. I do not take your trust and confidence in me lightly, and I look forward to serving our special community for the next two years. Politics has become increasingly polarizing — left or right, red or blue but I believe the TPZ Commission is an important space and model for collaboration and community.

Land use decisions are the foundation for so many important goals — from increasing our commercial tax base, to helping seniors remain in town, to diversifying our housing stock, to ensuring the small-town atmosphere that we love, to protecting our natural resources and planning for climate change and sustainability. Complicating our achieving these goals are both old and new state mandates, for example the restrictions imposed by 8-30g, which enables dense development without regard to zoning regulations, and the ongoing trend in state laws shifting control over our land use from our town to the state. I also want to be a voice for our distinct neighborhoods who often feel disconnected from the planning and zoning process. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and take on these challenges.

I want to thank outgoing TPZ Chairman Matthew Wagner and Commissioner Mark Corcoran for their service to Fairfield these last several years and for leaving their mark on the commission. They are wonderful examples of public servants. I also have gratitude to my opponent, Marc Andre, for running for the TPZ and for his commitment and willingness to serve Fairfield.

Ever onward,

Alexis Harrison, Fairfield