Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) members are reviewing a range of concerns from residents who attended a November 20 public hearing on The Preserve at Newtown, a 23-lot residential subdivision proposed for Dodgingtown. Those concerns include the potential for damage to existing domestic well-water supplies, increased traffic flow, and high construction densities. The developers propose two clusters of single-family houses on the 167-acre site, where about half of the acreage would be designated as “open space” for passive forms of recreation under the provisions of the town’s “open space conservation subdivision” (OSCS) regulations. Such development also is known as “cluster housing.”
During a sobriety checkpoint held last weekend at Fairfield Hills, police stopped a vehicle to check on whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and then found approximately five pounds of marijuana in the vehicle’s trunk, resulting in the arrest resulting in the arrest of the vehicle’s five occupants on several drug charges.
The balancing act of providing field space for youth and adult athletics and accommodating a combination of the most competitive of those children (and their parents), as well as out-of-town players on travel and premier squads, has been a tricky one for Newtown Parks & Recreation officials. Newtown Recreation officials now hope some changes to the field use procedures will make Newtown residents happy while not shutting out nonresidents altogether. They also hope to maximize use of the town’s field space in the process. Beginning in the spring of 2015, field use will be regulated differently than it has for the past ten-plus years, with stricter rules for out-of-town residents. The Parks & Recreation Commission at its October meeting approved a change in the rules that now requires every team within an organization to meet an 80 percent residency requirement. Additionally, other policy changes are being considered to help ensure there is an equal opportunity for Newtown athletes to have field use.
The 2014 Newtown Savings Bank Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot, to benefit the C. H. Booth Library, will take place Thursday morning. Travelers can expect brief delays and road closures Thursday, November 28, between the hours of 7:30 and 9:30 am, in and around the center of town.
The building that had served as Hawleyville’s post office for decades was swiftly torn down this week by a town crew wielding an excavator. The structure fell to the ground in pieces at the site where the Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Company plans a redevelopment project starting next spring. Hawleyville Fire Chief John Basso said that site improvements will start in the spring when area asphalt plants reopen. The fire company plans to pave the area where the post office stood, expanding an existing parking lot. In the future, the fire company may put the land where the post office stood to some other use, according to the chief.
Following discussion at a November 20 Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) session, P&Z members unanimously endorsed Newtown Hook & Ladder, Company, No. 1’s proposal to build a firehouse on Church Hill Road to replace the town-owned firehouse at 45 Main Street which the fire company now uses. The fire company is seeking a special permit from the Borough Zoning Commission (BZC) to build a firehouse at a 3.16-acre site, which would have the street address of 12 Church Hill Road. Trinity Episcopal Church of 36 Main Street now owns that land which it would sell to the fire company for $500,000, if the company receives all required regulatory approvals for the construction project. Rob Manna, representing Hook & Ladder, told P&Z members that the firehouse which the fire company now uses is in “deplorable condition.” The structure was declared structurally unsound many years ago. Steel beams are being used to shore up its main-level floor. Also, bracing has been placed on its western exterior masonry wall to counteract wall cracking. The building, which has been in service for about 80 years, was not designed to house modern fire trucks, which are much heavier than those of the past.
In response to the snowstorm that has reached the area, businesses and organizations have begun announcing program cancellations and/or early closing plans. Readers who would like to have their closings or cancellations announced are invited to call 203-426-3141 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Monday, November 24, Dr Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, superintendent of the Newtown school district, responded to the report from the Office of the Child Advocate (OCA), released Friday, November 21, saying that his first thoughts go directly to the victims’ families. “How can I offer any kind of assistance to families?” he asked. The report was prepared in response to a directive from the Connecticut Child Fatality Review Panel to review Adam Lanza’s life prior to the commission of mass murder, and develop recommendations for public health system improvements. Failure of the Newtown schools to follow established guidelines and multiple examples of lack of coordination for services are among the many findings in the report.