3/10/2023 A Message from First Selectman Bindelglass


Good afternoon,

As I discussed last week, there will be an informational meeting and discussion with the Planning and Zoning commission on Monday, March 13th at 7:15 PM at the library community room. It will be filmed for channel 79 and viewable on Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89083260623?pwd=a3Q2eVc0ZlRla2s4QmNhWFM3U2hiQT09, Meeting ID: 89083260623, Passcode: 993288. There will be a discussion period but only for those present. First let me provide some background. Every 10 years the town is required to create a plan for conservation and development which is the responsibility of the Planning & Zoning Commission. Our current plan is available here.  The commission’s job is to assess the needs and assets of the town, and create a plan for what actions the town should pursue to achieve the goals they set out. They hold hearings to receive public input, but this is not a purely democratic process, and in the end the commission writes the plan, as they are required to do. Often consultants and attorneys weigh in.  As you can imagine this creates some angst, but the plan is more than 50 pages long so it is impractical to have the town vote on every provision. We are five years away from having a new plan, but the commission wants to begin thinking about this as five years goes quickly.

At the same time there is a lot of concern about the state’s housing policy, specifically the ways the state wants to increase affordable housing. As the legislature is currently in session, there are bills which could potentially affect affordable housing policy. As you may recall, the town submitted a plan for affordable housing in Easton as it was required to do last year.  It contained some recommendations and is available here.  I have held off on creating an affordable housing committee or authority which was a recommendation of the report because I am waiting to see what comes out of the legislature, as there are so many unknowns that it would be difficult to create a charge for such a committee. We also hosted a program with our legislators which is available here.  Affordable housing is an emotionally charged issue. This is compounded by the 8-30g legislation which in some situations, gives a developer who is building affordable housing the potential ability to circumvent local zoning laws. It is hard to argue that Connecticut needs more affordable housing. It is almost a certainty that nobody wants more in their own back yard. Specific to Easton, we have a need to protect our reservoirs, and the complete absence of infrastructure including public sewage and transportation as well as a large part of town without a public water supply.

All of this is background for the process which leads to this first public information session which will be held Monday. I do not want to impinge on the process which Planning and Zoning has set in motion, however, I can say that there will be more sessions. We have five years to produce a new plan. There will be every attempt to bring in different voices, particularly as it relates to affordable housing. I hope that many of you can attend in person or virtually, or watch the discussion in the future. I also hope that when we have guests either now or in the future, regardless of their views we will be respectful. I think it is unfortunate that this needs to be said. As a closing note on this topic I would recommend that you read the letter to the courier by Verne Gay, on behalf of Citizens for Easton, https://eastoncourier.news/2023/03/09/cfe-response-to-rejection-of-830-g/. It is an excellent example of how one can be passionate on a subject and still be thoughtful, rather than emotional, and I commend Verne for writing it.

On Saturday, March 18th at 2:00pm in the Easton Public Library community room, please join us for ONE BOOK/ONE TOWN COMMUNITY READ, A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger author talk via zoom.    

The Easton Boy Scout Troop 66 Gourmet Breakfast is back this year. It’s Saturday, April 1st from 8:00am to noon at the Easton Community Center. Get your tickets from any member of Troop 66 or by emailing Troop66breakfast@gmail.com. Tickets are also available at the door. It’s $14 for adults, $12 for kids and seniors. This is the single largest fundraiser for Easton Boy Scouts. It helps support their educational and skill development as future leaders. Plus, it's a great community event with good food!

The Assessor’s office will be closed on Thursday, March 16th for a mandatory meeting.  

It looks like there will be a minor weather event tonight into tomorrow. As always, please be careful.

Have a good weekend,