To the Editor:
It seems that this is going to become a regular feature: writing to correct the disinformation about the Strategic Plan.
Carol O’Reilly writes that “The Strategic Plan Commission is not even an elected group, yet they seem to believe they have license to ignore the clear preference of Southbury citizens...”
We are not elected; we were appointed by the BoS for our experience and knowledge. We have no “license” except to advise the BoS, which has the only authority to approve, reject, or modify any recommendations. You elect them, and they answer to you, not to us.
The Strategic Plan originated from a survey, in which almost 2,000 residents made their needs clear. We are following residents’ wishes. However, we and the BoS also answer to the state, which has mandated a target (10 percent) of affordable-not Section 8-housing.
The SPC recommended that “the BoS ask the Planning Department develop an Affordable Housing Plan.” Is it better for the town to have a plan, or to wait for the state to dictate the terms of our development?
And where does this read “as many as 1,000 of the lower cost units constructed to meet the goals of the plan?” Even we on the SPC have no idea how many units this might be.
Currently, the best example of affordable housing is Heritage Village. You can find a one-bedroom unit for $1,250 (rent) or $75,000 (purchase). What we need — not just to satisfy the state, but also to retain and attract more families of all ages — is similar kinds of reasonably priced housing.
Given the six-year waiting list at Grace Meadows, seniors are also desperate for affordable housing.
Please read the plan and try to ignore the scary rumors out there.
Strategic Planning Commission