Protect the Partrick Wetlands
August 5, 2004
ARS Defies Planning and Zoning Resolution with new Application
ARS Partners Inc. had the opportunity to lessen the impact on the wetlands and surrounding neighborhoods with their new application, but stridently resubmitted the same proposal for 22 clustered houses on 9 acres. They clearly chose not to hear what over 2500 residents had been calling for; less development, more open space, the protection of the Partrick Wetlands and a stop to the sewer extension from Norwalk.
ARS, by testing the land themselves, has defied the 2003 Planning and Zoning denial resolution that called for an independent Town hired firm to test for known contamination. By saying this test is sufficient, in their July 30th filed documents, insults the integrity of our Town's commission, belittles the concerns of the residents and ignores what is clearly a legal obligation. A full and independent Town sponsored test of the land and adjacent dump still must occur.
This rehashed proposal, based on a sewer line extension from Norwalk, would allow for over-development of the Wetlands, bring sprawl and traffic congestion and change the character of this entire region forever. Thankfully, the sewer extension is under review by Norwalk and its very existence is in question. Norwalk Mayor Alex Knopp called together a nonpartisan Task Force to determine the need and impact of this sewer line. Hearings are ongoing and a decision is pending.
We ask that the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission staff to look at this sewer issue closely when determining the completeness of this new application. The sewer approvals are in flux, no contract for the sewer exists and piling more conditions on conditions to allow for hearings is not in the best interests of the commission, the residents, our Towns or the environment.
We urge the Norwalk Cranbury Task Force to expedite their decision making process. It would be a terrible injustice to allow this unneeded and unwanted project to slip in through the different jurisdictional cracks.
What still remains are all the lingering issues of how this proposal does not meet the Westport Zoning regulations or the standards of the Special Permit. Road access, open space, traffic, safety, health, property values, character and more are all issues that ARS has no hope of proving in their favor.
One year ago The Partrick Wetlands Preservation Fund aided by the citizens of multiple municipalities defeated this same proposal, we will again. Please join us to Save Westport and the entire region from over-development and sprawl. More information is always available at www.SaveWestport.com