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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Ridgefield trying to use the eniment domain card?

Well, that's what their trying to do but unlike New London, their will be no displaced families by the seizing of the aprox. 150+ acres of land south of Bennett's Pond. To but it as simple as possible (and if you live in the Danbury/Ridgefield area, you already know) this is just another chapter in the story of the people of Ridgefield not liking the idea of the delevoper, Eureka V, building starter homes because according to them, it will drive the property value down. You see, most homes in the area go for around 500,000 and up and placing affordable housing in that area (if you consider affordable 300,000 to 400,000) will not only being the property value down, but (and this is the real reason) bring in a type a crowd that Ridgefield doesn't want and they have fought tooth and nail for years to stop the developer from building affordable housing.

From the Danbury News Times
The developer, Eureka V, wants to build 510 townhouses and apartments on the 154-acre parcel. The proposal would require a zone change because the property is now zoned for commercial development.

Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi sent a letter to Eureka V in 2001 offering to buy the land for $2.7 million. He also wrote that if necessary the town would take the property through eminent domain.

Eureka V went to federal court asking for an injunction against an eminent domain move and alleged Ridgefield is violating the federal fair housing law by attempting to prevent Eureka from building houses for people with school-age children.

Since then, Eureka has filed a request for a zone change for the property. That request will be heard in a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission on July 12.

Taking the land through eniment domain will allow Ridgefield to turn the land (which is currently zoned commercial property) into office space.

Marconi said he is confident the town will end up with the property and be able to go ahead with plans to build 600,000 square feet of corporate office space.

"It is now clear that if Ridgefield is victorious in federal court, which we feel we will be, then we can proceed with an eminent domain taking of the property," Marconi said. Selectmen will meet with the town's lawyer in the next two weeks to discuss the case.

Wonder how this saves Bennett's Pond which was Ridgefield resasoning for fighting Eureka back in 2000? This fight is far from over (well, it's been going on for at least 6 years) and it probably will never end. Why would anyone want to live in a place where they are not wanted in the first place is beyond my understanding.