Protect the Partrick Wetlands
and our Community


Two Groups Join to Fight Development and Sewer

To the Editor:

Frank Zullo, the attorney representing the foundation owning the White Barn Theater, threatened last week to demolish the famous theater and build 23 houses on the property in both Norwalk and Westport. His original proposal to over-develop with 13 houses and a private school in association with the theater was met with great skepticism by local residents.

Some way to negotiate aye? Scorch the earth if you donít get what you want. And this from the former Mayor who is supposed to have the City and citizenís best interests at heart. I guess not. Since that first proposal no meetings have occurred with the residents.

But letís look at the bigger picture here. Add the 22 houses proposed for Westportís Partrick Wetlands to this new total at the White Barn and we are looking at 45 houses all to be built between Newtown Ave/Tpke and Partrick Road within a half mile of each other. This is besides the rampant development on every other piece of open space in the area.

A sewer extension from Norwalk up Newtown into Westport, proposed by ARS Partners, ostensibly to serve their destruction of the Patrick Wetlands will aid the White Barn subdivision as well. This sewer could then continue along Newtown to Weston, up Rt 33 to Wilton and beyond.

This sewer will bring sprawl, densification, loss of open space, greater traffic congestion, increased property taxes as the infrastructure costs will overwhelm revenue and change the character of the entire region.

ARS, after their initial proposal over two years ago, has never once sat down to talk to the neighbors either. Their only contact was the recent fake Mayor Knopp letter they sent to Norwalk residents promoting the sewer and vilifying those against their over-development. If they only had the integrity to sign their own names to it, the confusion over who sent it would never have occurred.

ARS and Mr. Zullo seem cut from the same cloth. Do what ever is necessary to push though developments that are questionable at best, down right harmful at worst and then just pocket the profits and run.

For too long developers have run roughshod over residentsí wishes. One just has to look around to see how unchecked development has taken over our towns. The time has come to change this.

There are two organizations trying to protect this area and beyond. In a new form of regional cooperation, the Partrick Wetlands Preservation Fund of Westport (http://www.savewestport.com) and the Save Cranbury Association of Norwalk (http://www.savecranbury.com) are working together to stop over-development, save the Wetlands, the White Barn property and prevent this unneeded sewer from changing the character of this beautiful area.

Norwalk Mayor Alex Knopp has set up a task force to review the need for the sewer and address the above mentioned impacts from development. Public hearings have begun, the next one is January 5th. In addition, a State sponsored hearing on sprawl and smart growth is planned for late January as well. All of Connecticut is beginning to realize the harm of over-development and right in our midst we have a pending example of it. Please donít let it occur here as well.

More information can be found on the group websites or you can email me at info@savewestport.com.

Matthew Mandell
Director, Partrick Wetlands Preservation Fund Inc.
Www.savewestport.com