Darien is contemplating the purchase of two parcels of open space, one of which would be used for recreational purposes at Weed Beach Park.
The Planning and Zoning Commission issued positive reports about the potential acquisition of two parcels of land at its Tuesday, Oct. 8, meeting.
During the Representative Town Meeting Park and Recreation committee meeting before the Monday, Oct. 7, Board of Selectmen meeting, the acquisition of the parcel on 4 Short Lane was discussed for roughly 45 minutes, according to chairman Cheryl Russell.
"We all felt this piece of property was a benefit to the town and a benefit to the Parks and Recreation, since it is surrounded by Weed Beach Park," Russell told the selectmen.
Nine of 11 members were present at the committee meeting, and voted unanimously to recommend that the parcel, if acquired, be incorporated into Weed Beach Park.
The acquisition of open land is in line with the Darien Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan and the Weed Beach Plan.
Part of the 1996 Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan addressed the need for more open space in town and recommended that by 2010, "approximately 26 additional acres of parkland would be needed to meet the residents' needs," according to the memo.
The plan identified 12 parcels that the town should seek to acquire, however, the town chose to not pursue six properties when they became available, which are now "lost opportunities."
Two of the other parcels were acquired and the Short Lane parcel is one of the remaining four parcels.
The Short Lane parcel completes the town's property at Weed Beach and the Nearwater Pump Station, according to the memo.
"We feel this should be under Parks and Recreation's jurisdiction since it is surrounded by the park," Russell said.
The parcel is on the high ground at Weed Beach located in a coastal hazard area next to the tidal wetlands, according to a memo submitted by the RTM Parks and Recreation Department on Sept. 25.
The small parcel of land at 23 Hoyt St. is considered a "rare opportunity," Stevenson said. The parcel is already surrounded by Holmes Elementary School.
The parcels of land -- 4 Short Lane, .57 acres, and 23 Hoyt St., .23 acres -- combined make up 0.8 acres of land. The Board of Selectmen is considering purchasing the property to add more open space to the town's stock; however, there are no immediate plans to purchase it.
First Selectman Jayme Stevenson presented the parcels to the selectmen in separate motions, which were both unanimously approved.
The town is considering the purchase of 1.25 acres of open space on Hecker Avenue in Spring Grove Cemetery.
The Board of Selectmen voted in favor of purchasing the property for $275,000, and splitting the cost with the Darien Land Trust.
The property is just north of the Stony Brook River. In 1997, a 10-foot-wide easement was obtained from the Spring Grove Cemetery Association.
The cost of the property is not known.
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