Elisabeth (Lisa) Burns, Zoning Board of Appeals
Lisa is a licensed professional civil engineer with nearly 30 years of experience in public / municipal infrastructure management ranging from site plan review to utility design and construction. She has resided in Easton since 2010 and looks forward to the privilege of applying zoning rules fairly while thoughtfully considering variances within Easton's ethos.
My family and I moved to Easton in 2009. Ward, my husband, lived in the heart of San Francisco for about 25 years after growing up on the East Coast. Returning to the East, he said that he wanted "stone walls, a barn, and not to see any neighbors..." if we were to live outside a city. Easton was the perfect spot. We have 10 and 12 year old children, Piper and Henry, who enjoy a yard big enough to play any sport and to hit a tennis ball to their English Springer, Sallie. Ward works in finance and I have spent much of my career working in the public sector.
I have an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering, a master's in Engineering Management, and am a licensed professional engineer. Much of my career has been working in municipal government, from water utility work to being City Engineer for the City of Norwalk. Most recently I have worked for a large, regional water utility and currently for a municipal water utility serving Norwalk from a reservoir system based in Wilton and New Canaan.
Having been an unaffiliated voter since I registered, this past August I registered as a Democratic to run for Zoning Board of Appeals. I will always vote on facts related to the matter before the board. With my experience performing site plan reviews, reviewing municipal and other codes as they apply to development plans, and using my educational foundation, I will be a technical resource to the ZBA as well as have the ability to consistently and equitably consider any zoning appeals before the town.
Having worked for water utilities in Connecticut, I have a unique understanding of the public drinking water business and land use issues. With much of Easton's land in a private company's portfolio (Eversource/Aquarion), I am able to appreciate the importance of watershed protection and its direct correlation to water treatment, quality, and safety.
I would be humbled and honored to serve the Town of Easton as a ZBA representative for all residents.
Issue #1: Balancing development, conservation, and taxes
I feel most Easton residents don't want their taxes to increase nor to see any commercial or other dense development. This is a hard balance, especially if we want to retain the integrity and respect of our school system. Schools are important to property values whether you have kids in the system or not. Eastonites need to find unique ways to leverage our open space and farming community to attract additional low impact, high producing businesses to our town. We also need to figure out how to take advantage of our one- and three-acre zoning regulations to support multi-generational living situations for our respective families with kids staying home longer from college costs to parents who are living longer than previous generations.
Issue #2: Supporting Easton's farming community
Easton's identity is a farming community. We have farms, but since moving to Easton I can think of just a couple that have started since I became a resident. With Easton's unique location in Fairfield County, we need to support new and existing farms that define the town's character. This can include identifying and preserving land use opportunities for farming, supporting farming infrastructure needs, and developing programs for micro- and large-scale farming opportunities to serve the local population a bigger effort to reduce carbon emissions and global warming.
Issue #3: Representing all residents
I have not affiliated to a party until this past August so that I could run on the Democratic ticket for the ZBA. As educated voters, we must always consider all the facts from every perspective. I will represent all voters of Easton on the ZBA because the municipal code and zoning regulations must be evaluated when making an appeals decision, not political affiliation. As a community, I would like to find balance and harmony amongst all of the political parties.