Protect the Partrick Wetlands
and our Community

State Rep. joins in fight against large development plan near Partrick Road WESTPORT - However, Rep. Kenneth Bernhard, R-1 36, said the developer should be allowed to build something smaller.

By Jennifer Connic
Printed in the Norwalk Hour

One of the town's state representatives has joined in with neighbors to fight against development on the former FD. Rich property.

The Planning and Zoning Commission is cur­rently reviewing a plan to construct 22 single ­family homes on the 55.9-acre site, which is located between Partrick Road and Newtown Turnpike.

The public hearing on the application, which has been hotly contested by neighbors, will con­tinue at 7:30 p.m. on May 22.

Partrick Wetlands Preservation Fund offi­cials, a group of neighbors, will make a presen­tation at the meeting while other residents will also have the opportunity to speak.

State Rep. Kenneth Bernhard, R-136, said Monday that he has gotten interested in the application as a "concerned, informed citizen."

'As a taxpayer and citizen I am concerned about over-development and traffic," he said.

Bernhard said he has represented a number of people in the neighborhood, and as town attorney, represented the Conservation Commission in a case regarding the same property many years ago.

"I plan to speak at the hearing in the role as an informed citizen," he said.

Unlike the neighbors who want nothing built on the property, however, Bernhard said he believes the developer should be allowed to build something on the property. "The town didn't purchase the property, and its consideration was paid," he said. "I just feel this project is too intensive. I would ask them to exercise dis­cretion."

Also the roads along the property - Newtown Turn­pike and Partrick Road - can not necessarily handle the traf­fic that would be generated by the project.

Bernhard said the plan the town had for the property, which was rejected by the Planning and Zoning Commission before town officials could purchase it, would be more fitting for the site. Town officials had proposed eight homes be built on the prop­erty and sold as extra revenue after purchasing the property, but the Planning and Zoning Commission rejected the pro­posal.