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Letter: Will miss serving on TPZ

It has been an honor and a great pleasure serving the citizens of Fairfield for the last eight years on the Town Plan & Zoning Commission. I will surely miss this commission as we all genuinely liked each other, worked well together, and cared about protecting the character of Fairfield.

In addition to meeting twice monthly to review, consider, and vote on numerous commercial and subdivision applications, bond releases and compliances, we also spent hours upon hours at special meetings to plan for the future of our town. Our planning accomplishments include:

Expanding written notice for subdivision and special permit applications to 200 feet and zone changes to 500 feet so that neighborhoods are informed; eliminating trademarked architectural style buildings in our downtown and neighborhood design districts; requiring bike racks for all new buildings in the design business district and our neighborhood design districts; limiting the square footage of each tenant in neighborhood design districts to encourage smaller stores that will serve the local community; urging Fairfield University to install a sidewalk on Round Hill Road; encouraging rain gardens and permeable pavers; double striping in all new parking lots for additional safety; prohibiting signs not fixed to a building or to the ground (i.e., sandwich signs); creating architectural design standards to retain Fairfield's character while allowing for redevelopment in our downtown area; requiring dark sky certified lighting to control light pollution; incentivizing appropriate transit-oriented redevelopment around the new Metro Center; improving the definition of a minimum square (the area of the minimum square is now exclusive of wetlands, watercourses, conservation easements, or any other restriction other than setbacks which would prevent actual house construction within the square); and my favorite- the recent regulation change to require road frontage to be the same as the minimum square in all subdivisions.

I am sorry that I will miss voting on the proposed shade tree, bicycle, pedestrian, and Western Gateway (Post Road) amendments that have been on our planning agenda over the past year. However, I am confident that the returning and new commissioners will continue the planning work that was started and will pass these important regulations in the near future.

Richard B. Jacobs

Fairfield

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