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Letter: Resident Supports Board’s Decision Relating to Open Choice Program

April 6, 2023
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I am writing in response to the backlash the town of Woodbridge has received for not accepting two students into the Open Choice Program due to New Haven’s failure to remit proper payment.  I am particularly concerned with the accusations the town is trying to segregate as well as the allegation Woodbridge is moving in a backwards direction.  I would like to impart I am in support of the Board of Education’s decision not to permit admission of two students into the Open Choice Program given the financial consequences.  Financial remuneration is a medium of exchange, and if one party does not uphold their aspect of the exchange, the deal becomes null.  This is true of any standard transaction, and I do not believe this should be any different even though it pertains to education.  It behooves those in leadership positions to honor the interests of the taxpayers of this town, especially because these constituents cast votes to elect officials.  Furthermore, since the same ideologies underscore the issue of affordable housing, I am expressing the following opinion.

To begin this topic of discussion, we should review the fundamentals of zoning laws and municipal zoning regulations.  Regulations do not see color, nor does their existence preclude individuals from residing in a particular area.  Zoning regulations govern the use of land, not actual people who utilize the land.  Additionally, zoning laws are not in control of the purchase and sale of land.  Ergo, zoning laws impose no restrictions on one who is purchasing land or a home.  There is no point throughout the zoning approval process where the identity beyond the name of the applicant is even known, let alone considered.  Rather the merits of the development proposal are considered within the confines of existing law.  The sole purpose of zoning regulations is to preserve property values, as well as historic, and environmental resources.  Zoning regulations do not impose bias or prejudice.

I respectfully ask individuals to consider the ramifications of decisions and for people to exercise judgement and caution when expressing unexamined “opinions” about this subject.  A principal concern with legislation 8-30g is out of scale buildings being approved, thereby ruining the scale by which other residents had to abide when purchasing their own homes.  I implore these developers to consider whether or not they would appreciate multiple-story buildings adjacent to their single-family homes, overshadowing other residences.

This statute is also fraught with other unsettling concerns, such as inadequate parking, increased congestion due to traffic, the presence of dumpsters for waste removal visible from peoples’ dwellings, as well as the nuisance of noise.  Unfortunately, this legislation disables the authority of zoning commissions, and permits developers to build maximum density to yield a greater profit, with only 1/3 of the units being affordable.  This suggestion is tantamount to reverse-gentrification.  Furthermore, the very basis of rendering a judgment indicating low-income individuals need financial assistance to achieve success is the antithesis of equity and is inherently prejudicial.  Frankly, this mentality perpetuates disparity, rather than disabling it.

My husband and I relocated to Woodbridge, CT, with our two young daughters to enjoy the history and sanctity of the town, as well as the esteemed education system.  We earned the privilege of purchasing a home here through hard work and gumption.  The rural feel, with a great deal of greenspace, as well as the ability to enjoy biodiversity are the most appealing characteristics of this beautiful town.

Shouldn’t everyone be held to the same standard/expectation?  Please do not misconstrue my opinions.  I am simply exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech, and though I may not align with your opinions, I would vehemently protect your right to express them.

This is an opinion not necessarily endorsed by the Woodbridge Town News.

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