Tuesday, May 11, 2021


Madison Needs to Look Ahead

In 2018 and 2019, the Planning & Zoning Commission changed the zoning regulations in Madison to encourage “inbuilding” and increased housing near transportation centers. This small change made it possible to build high-density housing and other projects on and around Boston Post Road, Route 79, Nortontown Road, Railroad Avenue, and Interstate 95, to name a few.

A street frontage parcel of land within 500 feet of these roads in zoning districts D, DW, DC, C, or T is eligible. Readers can find their zone on the zoning map at madisonct.org. The idea for housing close to resources and transportation is a good one, and certainly applicable for some exceptional needs. However, the geography of Madison, especially along Boston Post Road, is mostly floodplain. Readers can go to www.floodsmart.gov to see if their property is included. Flood prone areas are not conducive to these developments.

The water from street goes into storm drains, under roads, and into the town’s storm water drainage system, which empties into wetlands, marshes, and streams that feed into Long Island Sound. Save the Sound stickers are on many storm drains now. Several homeowners pump their basement water into these drains. That water, added to the water level rising 20 inches by the year 2050, inundates homes and town resources and attractions like the Surf Club, West Wharf, and East Wharf. Go to climate.uconn.edu for information about the Surf Club Resilience Plan. Water from additional sources will contribute to the problems that Madison will be spending town funds to remedy as we attempt to preserve these attractions.

High-density housing in or near flood zones should be a last resort, used wisely and sparingly. Moving these zones further inland will allow water absorption before it gets to the Sound. Madison needs to look ahead and change these zones.

April Allen