Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) says it is considering modifications to key provisions of proposed new permit requirements for the management and oversight of municipal stormwater systems — while still allowing the agency to achieve important environmental objectives. The announcement came following testimony and correspondence from numerous public officials from across the state, including Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra. DEEP officials said they are already discussing with local leaders changes to language now in the draft permit and will circulate a revised version of that draft permit by January 26.
The final week of the year brought Newtown’s Water and Sewer Authority together for a brief meeting to discuss proposed changes in regulations to both local sewer use regulations and the community’s water pollution control plan. After some discussion on December 29, the authority approved sending the proposed changes to a public hearing on January 8.
In anticipation of a developer pursuing the construction of a multifamily complex, including an affordable housing component, the Planning and Zoning Commission is continuing its review of the proposed Mixed-Use, Mixed-Income Overlay Zone (MUMI-10), a land use zone and accompanying zoning rules that would be used to better regulate such growth. The proposed seven-page set of MUMI-10 zoning regulations is intended to effectively provide the P&Z with more control over the design features of multifamily housing complexes than would be provided by the existing zoning rules known as the Affordable Housing Development Overlay Zone (AHD). P&Z is considering enacting the MUMI-10 rules in seeking to avoid the state controls placed on municipalities when municipalities lose court appeals under the terms of the state’s Affordable Housing Appeals Act.
For First Selectman Pat Llodra, it must be like a twisted version of "Groundhog Day," the black comedy where Bill Murray keeps waking up to the same day over and over again. Except for the first selectman, the plot involves the repetitive and disturbingly escalating expense of hazardous material remediation in buildings at Fairfield Hills. It just keeps happening. This time the issue of asbestos remediation is threatening a future headquarters for Newtown Parent Connection, Inc., a grassroots nonprofit whose mission is saving lives by connecting Newtown families to the help they need when facing heroin and other serious substance addictions.
Several Scudder Road area residents, who spoke at a December 18 Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) public hearing on the proposed Preserve at Newtown 23-lot residential subdivision, stressed they fear that their already unreliable domestic well water supplies would be diminished after new homes are built in that area and start drawing up subterranean water through new wells.
The December 18 session was a continuation of a November 20 hearing at which area residents raised concerns about their water supplies, expected increased traffic flow, and proposed high construction densities in two housing clusters at the 167-acre Dodgingtown development site.
The developers propose two clusters of single-family houses on the 167-acre site, where about half of the acreage would be designated as “open space” for passive forms of recreation under the provisions of the town’s “open space conservation subdivision” (OSCS) regulations.
Under Christmas trees in the glow of decorative street lamps, carolers spent time filling the quiet night with song December 20. Trinity Productions for the second year in a row put on its “Night of Song,” as a small gathering of guests gathered Saturday night in Sandy Hook Center to spread their holiday cheer.
After the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Elizabeth Vaughn, daughter of a Newtown Board of Education employee, saw a picture circulating from Karachi, Pakistan, with children lighting candles next to a sign that read, “Connecticut school killing, [we] feel [your] pain as [you] would feel our pain.” So when she learned about the devastating school attack in Peshawar last week, Ms Vaughn quietly organized a candlelight vigil that featured messages in Urdu translated onto posters by a Pakistani acquaintance. About two dozen friends and Sandy Hook Elementary School community members gathered for the brief memorial Friday, December 19, in Sandy Hook Center.
As shoppers, travelers, and commuters passed by or parked overhead during the rainy Christmas holiday, storm water infused with surplus pesticides left over on lawns mixed with sand and ice melt chemicals, as well as liquids from those passing or parked vehicles, and slowly seeped into the ground below. That polluted runoff eventually finds its way to Long Island Sound via stream and rivers like Newtown’s Pootatuck — and into local groundwater that feeds residential wells, where its effects on the environment and public health take their toll. In response, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is attempting, for the second time, to improve its regulations related to such runoff — referred to by the technical definition: nonpoint source pollution. But those proposed regulations, the subject of a recent statewide public hearing, would be initiated at apparent great cost to local municipalities.