Last year, the Town Charter was changed to create a new Inland Wetlands Board (IWB) separate from the Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC). Last November, the Town overwhelmingly voted to approve this Charter change. The issue at hand is who has jurisdiction over the Town’s Aquifers, PZC or IWB. PZC has acted as the Aquifer Protection Agency (APA) for some time now. IWB believes they should assume APA responsibilities.
So why are we meeting as a Town on Wednesday, August 21st to discuss this matter? It boils down to 3 words in Ridgefield's Town Ordinance Section 19-37, “in their capacity.” PZC wants to maintain control of the Aquifers based on those 3 words. The very existence of the newly created independent IWB relieves PZC from APA responsibilities. PZC, by Ordinance, was deemed APA jurisdiction in lieu of an IWB. Ridgefield now has an independent IWB. Therefore, that responsibility must be relinquished to the IWB.
The people have spoken in a 3 to 1 margin to separate these duties. I suspect that our voices must be heard again this Wednesday evening when the good citizens of Ridgefield will come out to publically rebuke an obstinate PZC. One further note, I suggest that the good people of Ridgefield come out in November to once again show their displeasure with incumbents who are unable to hear their constituents. To quote the great Bob Dylan, “you better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone. For the times they are a-changin'.” Perhaps that will occur in an Aquifer in Ridgefield governed by the newly formed IWB.
Greg Kabasakalian, Ridgefield, CT