The information below was compiled by the for its 2011 Voter's Guide. For details on the guide, voting information, and a full rundown of candidates on the ballot in Darien, visit here.
Questionnaires were submitted to all candidates, asking one or more specific questions. Responses, which were limited to a specific word count, are printed exactly as submitted. Any responses over the word limit could not be printed in full. Photos (if submitted by the candidates) are available in the gallery at right.
An asterisk signifies that the candidate is an incumbent.
PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION
- The six member Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) has authority to adopt a town plan and to determine zoning and subdivision regulations. It functions independently of other bodies in town government in performing its legislative, executive, and quasi-judicial functions.
- All candidates this year are unopposed.
- Term of office: four years (unsalaried)
- Vote for any two candidates
- Question: What do you see as the planning aspect of your job? Be as specific as possible.
Kevin M. Cunningham (Democrat)
- 37 Country Club Road
The aspects I see for the job that are key are engaging with and assessing the needs of the community in order to preserve the character of this wonderful community. There are several issues that I think are necessary to get a full understanding of in order to perform my duties on the board effectively. First is understanding the flood mitigation measures already undertaken in town and measure the effectiveness of ongoing efforts. Second is analyzing the current legal status of the moratorium on the affordable housing statute and understanding the drivers and metrics by which the town applies standards. Lastly I would need to perform an evaluation of affordable housing proposals currently in the pipeline.
Susan R. Cameron (Republican)*
- 42 Hoyt Street
Land use planning is developing the vision for sustained growth and vibrancy in a community. It is determining what will function best over time, weighing the impacts of future development on traffic, safety, stormwater management, and the existing character of surrounding neighborhoods.
I believe preserving open space and trees is hugely important. It improves the quality of life for everyone and helps Darien retain its New England character.
I approve of the current trend toward a mix of office, retail, and living space close to areas where mass transit is available, provided the items listed above —traffic, safety, stormwater management, visual impact — are well considered.
As we move forward, I feel it will be important to create opportunities for our senior population to age in place. I believe this includes both affordable senior housing as well as three-bedroom condominiums.
Reese Hutchison (Republican)*
- 70 Hecker Avenue
Good regulations allow for the broadest freedoms for property owners balanced against the common interests of the community. We all share a common in the quality of the experience of our surroundings, our environment, and the future consequences of our choices. Planning requires that we look to the past to understand how regulations helped shape and were shaped by the common interest. It requires that we analyze current conditions such as traffic, parking, safety, drainage, communal needs that are deficient and changes of law, and adjust regulations accordingly to best manage what chairman Conze has called "our portfolio." The goal is to allow for both residential and commercial development without sacrificing that which makes Darien unique and desirable. By forecasting the future, studying the past and updating regulations, value and quality of life shall be maximized.