Minutes of Board Meeting held on September 15, 2020
September 15th Board Meeting held via ZoomBoard members attending: Art Schoeller, Norman Kramer, Lois Sussman, Judy Swann, Matt Spiegel and MaryAnn Meyer.
Art asked Board members for a brief update on how each are managing the current pandemic. Everyone is doing well, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
1) Proposed housing development at West Parish /State DOT
The last few Board meetings have been focused on the Town proposal for housing at West Parish. We heard from neighbors, RTM-5 Reps and P&Z Chair. The Town has requested the State DOT provide 4 acres of land from the current 11 acres the State DOT has along West Parish and Post Road. The Town Housing Authority would build town house style moderate income housing (8-30g) for families.
The Board reviewed several of the points made in the previous meetings. Input from West Parish neighbors support the proposal and feel it would be an improvement to clean up the area.
This proposed 8-30g would help continue the current moratorium. Objections to density have been dismissed in other proposed and current projects. (Rogers’ Septic) The Board has an opportunity to take a broad position in favor of reasonable developments within Greens Farms as well as be effective in offering input.
Prior to taking a vote to support the P&Z plan to acquire 4 acres of property from the State DOT, members raised concerns that the P&Z should address. Toxic cleanup of the property by the State and addressing the existing wetlands and culvert which runs under the Hillandale Bridge to adjacent properties on lower West Parish. Other properties were discussed as potential options though they may not have nearby town sewer connections. Also discussed to stay posted with recommendations and future housing plans as the P&Z Affordable Housing Committee explores other options to maintain current and develop new projects.
Resolution: Move to support the P&Z plan to acquire land (4 acres along West Parish) from the State DOT to be developed by the Westport Housing Authority and to require the State to first clean up the toxins on the property. The resolution was approved by majority. Discussion followed for Art to voice our advocacy to State Reps and Town Selectman.
2) Discussion on membership and website content
Plan to email membership with info on the proposed Town housing on West Parish and remind members of membership dues. Website content to mention GF Church renovation project, new speed limit sign (25mph) on Morningside Drive South (across from the school) in time for opening of school, update on Cribari Bridge repairs vs replacement and the DOT final Cribari Bridge meeting on October 15th.
3) Cribari Bridge
Norman provided the latest update on the Cribari Bridge. The State DOT will host its final meeting on Thursday, October 15th prior to coming up for a plan for the Bridge. The State budget is $40Million for the Bridge. The State has not maintained the Bridge and is in need for repair. There is also discussion to replace the Bridge which would require the new Bridge to meet specifications to accommodate any vehicle legally allowed on roadways which would include tractor trailer trucks. This would bring tractor trailer traffic to Green’s Farms and Saugatuck and would require the bridge to be widen from 2 lanes to 4 lanes. As the GF Association has a seat on the Citizens Advisory Committee, a letter will be drafted to send to DOT to express our position that the Bridge should be repaired rather than replaced. Repairs needing to be addressed are replace dented and rusted steel, repair pillars underneath the bridge with new mortar as old mortar in the stones has fallen out and continue regular maintenance.
Westport Preservation Alliance and Western Council of Government (reps from 30 towns in Fairfield County) also have concerns with the State DOT’s plan for the Cribari Bridge.
Call for adding new members to the GF Association Board.
Next Board meeting via Zoom will be Tuesday, October 13th at 7pm.