Old Saybrook Zoning May Loosen Limits on Drive-Through Lanes on Jan. 3

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To the Editor:

On Wednesday, January 3, the Old Saybrook Zoning Commission may very well clear the way to more commercial drive-through lanes in our town. This is not a good turn of events. Drive-throughs are well-documented threats to pedestrian and bicycle safety. These nuisance developments will draw a disproportionate number of drivers from Rt. 95 compared to other businesses of similar size. They will increase traffic on our narrow, busy roads and increase noise and litter. Cars will queue at take-out windows while their idling engines contribute noxious gases and carbon emissions to the atmosphere.

Once permitted, drive-throughs are very likely to proliferate. Be aware that much of the commercial land along Old Saybrook’s Rt. 95/Amtrak corridor is for sale, under contract, or in development.

Town codes and our 2023 Plan of Conservation and Development call on our land use boards to consider residents’ health and well-being when permitting construction activities. Are the boards and commissions adequately considering residents’ quality of life and safety when they consider allowing more drive-throughs?

Visit https://www.oldsaybrookct.gov/boards to find meeting minutes, agendas, and town codes for Zoning and other land use boards. Our future quality of life depends upon our participation now. Once paved and built, land almost never returns to a more natural condition.

Kathleen G. Connolly
Old Saybrook, CT