The following is the Candidate Questionnaire Response from Week #2 from Kathleen Callahan, who is running to be on the Stratford Town Council from District 10. Her response in week 2 inadvertently dropped her last paragraph.
Town Council, District 10
Do you see a need for change in our land use and zoning regulations? If so, what do you recommend, and why?
I was thrilled when I first heard about the upcoming zoning regulation updates, and even more so when I learned that this is the first full rewrite ever. The current regulations are based on views of land use that have limited our growth and overall well-being. Aligning them with our 10-year Plan of Conservation and Development Plan helps me envision the details of a sustainable, affordable, integrated and diverse future.
Regarding commercial development, I am no expert – not even a novice – but I know the continued disappointment for residents and raised hopes… stalled again. Perhaps an honest account of our manufacturing history and where we can and cannot develop may help us accelerate progress. I believe the concepts of adaptive reuse – repurposing older buildings – should be explored to limit the amount of toxins unearthed, the space used, and leverage rooftops for gardens and solar panels (this applies to housing development as well).
Historically, we had been a bedroom community, centered around a very good school system, but things have changed. The priority goals are to return the schools to excellence, and to not only have housing options for current Stratford residents, but for those future residents that recognize all our town can offer.
The new regulations should consider age-in-place and age-in-town for seniors, accessory dwelling units (with minimal restrictions) for generational environments and our workforce, and the “missing middle” housing. Mixed use zones, with housing (senior?), open space (playgrounds?), and retail, in the transit-oriented district or along bus routes, is also recommended.