Fairfield Metro – Commerce Drive Planning Initiative
The properties nearest the Fairfield's third Metro North station are zoned for industrial and low-density commercial use, but the new train station will attract significant developer interest in high-intensity residential, retail, and office development.
Determining a new vision for the neighborhood and implementing new zoning regulations prior to the station opening will allow the town to better direct the direction of development and ensure that the energy initiated by this station is harnessed to achieve the goals of the town’s residents and business community.
The community-based initiative included a stakeholder committee of representatives of town departments, neighborhood groups, local business people and property owners and residents.
Stakeholders met four times between October 2008 and February 2009 to explore the concept of transit oriented development and its implications on mobility and traffic, municipal finances and the environment. The result of the stakeholder meetings was the following list of objectives, intended to serve as guidelines for the public workshop:
- Encourage non-auto access to the train station through pedestrian connections, bike routes, and bike facilities at the station and throughout the neighborhood
- Adjust parking requirements for new development, to reflect the availability of new transit service
- Ensure that new development positively impacts the municipal budget by comparing tax revenues with municipal operating costs
- Recognize the potential for increased property values around the station and preserve or create some affordable housing
- Encourage the production and use of renewable energy
- Encourage low-impact development practices such as rainwater collection and green roofs.
- Provide access to riverfront as recreational amenity