Protect the Partrick Wetlands
and our Community

P&Z - We Support your Review and Use of Outside Consultants

To the Editor: We fully support and appreciate Kathy Barnard's opinion, expressed last week in the press, regarding the upcoming review by the Planning and Zoning Commission of the proposed development of the Partrick Wetlands by ARS Partners. "They [the zoning commissioners] are required to rely upon what is already in the record, such as previous reviews by other agencies. But they also call in their own experts," she said. "They must take into account reviews by other agencies as well as testimony by neighbors and the applicant."

A close look at ARS's second application to the Conservation Commission and at the hearings and testimony that accompanied it, are exactly what is needed to understand the issues relative to this development. Although the second application was withdrawn by the developer before it was voted on, the questions asked by those commissioners of ARS are completely germane to the upcoming proceedings and should be asked again by the P&Z Commission.

The Partrick Wetlands Preservation Fund has been asking the town to bring in third party objective experts to study the land prior to making any decisions regarding its use. A new soil toxicology study, a ground water assessment and an unbiased hydrology study are all needed to determine the risk to public health. There are hundreds of domestic drinking water wells surrounding this property that could be jeopardized by this development.

While ARS must present their own traffic study to the commission we'd very much like the Town to hire independent and unbiased experts to review and evaluate the potential impact and risks. In addition, we feel it would be prudent to have an expert on Open Space Residential Communities review the plan and the zoning regulations to see how it aligns with current efforts, state and nationwide, to preserve land, open space, the character of neighborhoods and the safety and integrity of our town. We already have neighboring towns saying they don't want to end up looking like Westport.

We as a community are looking forward to the P&Z hearings. We believe it is here where the voice of the citizens will finally be heard and understood. We are hopeful that this commission will realize the real and potential harms that this oversized and unnecessary proposal will cause to Westport and all of its residents.

Sean Timmins
Westport, CT
Co-Director, Partrick Wetlands Preservation Fund Inc.