Op-Ed: How We Create a Range of Housing That Works for Ridgefield

May 24, 2023

How We Create a Range of Housing That Works for Ridgefield

Thanks to ongoing conversations with Ridgefield's Planning and Zoning Commission, Board of Selectmen, and the local Council of Governments, as well as other state legislators from Fairfield County, I have given direct feedback to leadership at the Capitol on housing bills, with the goal of arriving at a final bill that could help Ridgefield, and at the very least, won’t harm us. None of the bills before us are in their final form, and none have the same language or specifications they had when heard in the public hearing, but I will continue to advocate for Ridgefield until they are ready to be voted on in either chamber. 

If we want to attract people to live and work in Connecticut, we need a range of housing options. One of the best ways to reduce congestion on our streets is for the folks who work in our community to be able to also live here – including our teachers, municipal employees, and first responders – and the people who staff our restaurants, museums, and theaters that we love so much. However, any state plan must be one that works for our town.

I will stand and vote against housing bills that do not meet the approval of Ridgefield’s Planning and Zoning and Board of Selectmen. But the truth is, if any of these bills come to the floor of the House, they will most likely pass without my vote. That’s why, with the feedback given to me by our P&Z chair and members of the BOS, I am working with legislative leadership to help ensure that what comes to the floor will:

  • Do no harm to the Town of Ridgefield
  • Help us to grow a range of housing stock that considers Ridgefield’s specific land and transportation challenges
  • Put no undue strain on our environment
  • Benefit our community and the people who live and work here, over developers

We are in the final two weeks of the 2023 session, and I am working hard to get to legislation that is agreeable to the local boards, each of which is made up of the folks you elected and entrusted to represent you. Housing legislation is being discussed every day, and I will continue to monitor closely and work with leadership in Hartford and Ridgefield to ensure that whatever we pass is what is best for our town.  

State Representative Aimee Berger-Girvalo represents the 111th District in Ridgefield