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Residents Blast Saddle Ridge Plan

Eastonites got a long-awaited chance to share their opinions about a proposed affordable housing plan with the town Planning and Zoning Commission at a rescheduled public hearing Monday night.

Saddle Ridge Developers has proposed building 33 buildings with 105 two-bedroom homes near Routes 136 and 59. If approved, 32 of the homes would be designated as affordable housing for 40 years.

"I think this is a terrible assault on the town of Easton," said resident Bill Lane, Approving the plans would not benefit the town, he said, would "open floodgates" and "destroy the town forever."

A recent town plan of conservation and development showed only 0.4 percent of residences in Easton are deemed to be affordable. By law, if a town does not reach 10 percent, a developer is allowed to appeal and propose a project.

Half of those 32 homes would be available for $138,686 to families with an annual income lower than 60 percent of the median of $46,548. The other 16 would be sold for $197,000 to families with an annual income of less than 80 percent of the median, Saddle Ridge attorney Matt Ranelli said.

Marnie Waiwat said that building on the wetlands would have a "definite negative impact on the water supply." George Clift said wastes such as detergents would penetrate the soil and water, putting trace amounts of chemicals in drinking water.

In a letter, Aquarion Water Co. urged the planning and zoning committee not to approve the plans, prompting resident Nancy Rockwood to question whether the town could be sued if contamination does occur.

Public hearings also will be held Oct. 18 and Oct. 25 to give more residents the opportunity to comment and to give Saddle Ridge a chance for rebuttal.

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