To the Editor:

Many in town are upset by the way decisions have been made regarding the presumed demand for, and the locations recommended for, Age Restricted Housing (AROD). Moreover, they decry the lack of information made available to the public. And, the public’s concern is, as it relates to Ridgefield Rd., that the concept benefits not the town, but rather a single developer.

Regarding the demand for AROD, one might ask, Where are the customers? The answer is, they don’t exist. Consider these observations from a New York Times (June 2011) article:

“Age-restricted housing (in CT), once chosen by developers because it put them on a faster track through the approvals process, is no longer so appealing to them in this much-diminished market. The empty nesters who, when the market was high, were expected to downsize en masse into so-called 55-plus or ‘active adult’ communities did not materialize. As it turned out, many in this age group are unwilling or unable to sell their houses. What’s more, developers say, the concept overreached in its pursuit of buyers at the younger end of the age range, who often aren’t ready to move into such developments. So, hard hats in hand, developers are pleading with the zoning officials who approved the 55-plus plans to let them out of the age restriction. The towns of Ellington, Tolland and Southington have all approved requests to lift age restrictions on troubled developments over the past year.”

Regarding the choice of Ridgefield Rd. for AROD (whose idea was it anyway?)–roughly, by a margin of 50-to-1–the members of the public who’ve attended Planning & Zoning Commission AROD meetings are totally against an AROD facility on this scenic and bucolic road. The bottom line, for a host of reasons, is:  if, in fact, the demand for AROD exists, Wilton would be far better served to have an AROD facility in the Wilton town center.

Tom Curtin