The Shelton municipal election will determine future development and the readiness of the City for growth. For the past 24 years the Republicans have enjoyed a 4 – 2 majority on the Planning and Zoning Commission (the maximum allowed by the City Charter). The mayoral race is already decided (Mayor Lauretti is running unopposed) but this election offers the citizens of Shelton a chance to elect a truly bi-partisan Planning and Zoning Board.
The Republican-dominated board has allowed many high density projects in areas zoned for single family dwellings, contrary to the Master Plan of Development. On numerous occasions the Republican majority has approved maximum development through the use of Planned Development Districts. In essence, this zoning by Planned Development Districts destroys the integrity of zoning by allowing anything anywhere “for the good of the City.” Despite the outcry of many groups over nearly three decades and despite legal action, the Republican Planning and Zoning majority has approved these massive projects. The Route 8 corridor of corporate development is now being choked with massive projects such as Shelter Ridge, all in the name of keeping taxes low. I believe that growth need not threaten homeowners with super projects and Planned Development Districts, which only benefit developers. The Planning and Zoning Commission needs to follow the Plan of Development. The City must not devalue the largest investment a family makes, that of their home.
The entire City seems to be up for grab with developers being granted incredible numbers of units and projects that other towns would not tolerate. The voters can express their dissatisfaction with the current situation by electing Democrats to the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Board of Aldermen, and the Board of Education. Let’s have a balanced, bi-partisan discussion about Shelton’s future.