New Fairfield residents approved only one of the proposed ordinance measure before them at a Town Meeting last week. The revisions ot the town's Code of Ethics was approved on a voice vote. A blight ordinance was rejected by a margin of 3-1. 98 residents voted against it, 35 for it and four abstained. A stormwater runoff ordinance was also rejected. 52 residents voted against it, 18 in favor and two abstained.
New Fairfield's Code of Ethics was crafted before the state had one, and residents voted in favor of minor changes to bring the town ordinance into compliance with state statute.
First Selectman Susan Chapman says the blight law was proposed for the third time in four years because her office has received a number of complaints, but those raising concerns didn't attend the town meeting. She says she isn’t likely to introduce a blight ordinance again. Broad language killed the proposal twice before. Chapman says right now town departments don't have the authority to force homeowners to clean up their properties.
Chapman says she will likely introduce another a stormwater discharge ordinance, calling it a matter of safety.
The stormwater ordinance is being proposed because of previous safety concerns about icing and other damage to the roads. Several steps for remediation were outlined in the draft. The first step would have been a citation providing written notice of the violation. If the violation isn't fix within a reasonable amount of time, a fine of up to $250 could have been issued. If the violation isn't cleared up after the fine, the town would have been allowed onto the property to make the corrections, at the homeowner's expense.