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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Westport/Weston Y Announces Capital Campaign Chairs

The Wesport/Weston YMCA today announced that three area families will head its capital campaign in connection with its planned move from downtown Westport to its Camp Mahackeno property.

Bill Gault, Bill Mitchell, and Arthur Tauck will serve as the campaign’s honorary chairpersons. Nancy and Sam Gault, Ginger and Jim Donaher, and Chris Mitchell and Robin Tauck will serve as co-chairs.

The Y also announced it will now formally operate under the name “Westport Weston Family Y.”

Westport/Weston families—the Gaults on the left side, the Mitchells in the center, and the Taucks to the right—unveil the new Westport Weston Family Y name. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


Posted 04/28/05 at 11:26 PM  Permalink


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Dear Gordon;
  With three such longtime, well entrenched and committed Westport families behind the YMCA/ Mahackeno project, it has to be good (Thank you, Mason Adams)!!!
  These families signify what our community is all about ... caring for our neighbors and giving back for what is good about Westport.

  I don’t think any of these folks would be getting behind such a project if it was bad for the community, do you? Think about it.

Posted by MARK S. GRAHAM on April 29, 2005 at 11:21 AM | #

This is not a Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) issue. I do not live anywhere near Mahackeno, yet refuse to stand by idly and allow the Y to move to this location. They are destroying residential neighborhoods and ROBBING innocent homeowners of the equity and value in their properties. There will be negative environmental impacts. This move will lead to urban-like sprawl in Westport and we cannot tolerate this.

Okay, yes, the Y should have a new facility, but it cannot and should not be permitted to create so many problems in the process. Keep them in an area that is already developed.

Posted by Jim Smyth on April 29, 2005 at 04:44 PM | #

The closest neighbors to the new Y building: 
1. A cell tower
2. Commuter parking lot
3. Restaurant
4. The Merritt Parkway

I’d call the new Y building an improvement to that neighborhood.  Poperty values…they’re goin’ up!

Posted by Lets get on with it! on April 29, 2005 at 05:15 PM | #

I’ve read various posts by “Let’s get on with it” on this topic over the past few days.  Hey, “Let’s,” at least don’t be stupid.  Are you forgetting all of the houses on Rice and Sunny Lane?  Of course you are.  If you want to advance the argument that the Y should be able to go where it wants, at least don’t be a moron and ignore facts.  Idiot.

Posted by at least be fair on April 29, 2005 at 11:56 PM | #

I’m not sure how calling someone stupid and an idiot and a moron advances debate, nor am I sure how it’s “fair” as in “at least be fair”. Letsgetonwithit’s description of the neighborhood seems accurate to me. The good folks on Rice’s Lane, avid letter writers though they are, probably won’t even be able to see the building, unless they continue to walk their dogs on the camp property as they no doubt do today. As for the equity in homes, can anyone cite a case where a homeowner in Westport lost real estate value after a school went up nearby? I didn’t think so. The first house for sale on Rice’s lane after the new Y opens will be advertised as “within walking distance of new Y” and will gain in value. It’s time to move on and build Westport’s next crown jewel.

Posted by Let's build it on April 30, 2005 at 02:42 PM | #

The residents on Rice’s and River Lanes are not the primary issue (although, given the Y’s inability to control traffic on these streets in the past, a move to Mahackeno does not bode well for these streets).

The real issue is the overall traffic impact that would be generated by a huge facility drawing 1,000 cars a day in a residential area.  While Camp Mahackeno is located off the Merritt, most people will not take the Merritt to get there.  People will be driving on Route 33, Red Coat Road, King’s Highway, Old Hill Road, Cross Highway and more.  And when the big swim meets come, the bus loads of swimmers and vendors’ trucks will have to take I-95 and snake their way through town to reach Camp Mahackeno.

Moreover, those who compare the Y’s proposed facility to the Conservative Synagogue on Hillspoint forget the Y’s hours run from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, plus the basketball tournaments and swim meets it plans to host.  The peak class times coincide with peak commute times (after 4 p.m., when most children are out of school), further compounding the traffic situation.

Route 33 is already badly clogged (so is the Merritt).  The Y has not said anything credible about how it will address the traffic generated by a Camp Mahackeno-based facility.

Most would agree the Y needs to be refurbished.  The best location for that refurbishment is what is being debated.  Moving the Y to Camp Mahackeno would be a mistake that could never be erased, and would forever impact the traffic flow in town and change the character of the northwest corner of town.

Posted by Preserve Westport on May 01, 2005 at 02:59 PM | #

Preserve’s comment about increased traffic is likely correct.

But guess what—residents all over Westport have experienced and endure increased traffic for the good of the town. Residents around Staples certainly were concerned when Bedford Middle was built.

They are dealing with it with help from traffic agents (at increased cost to the town and taxpayers). But the point is that no neighborhood these days can be immune to development for the betterment of the community.

The current traffic problem at exit 41/Mahackeno is more due to poor flow at Kings Highway North and 33. If the town and the state can improve flow there, it will improve the situatio near Mahackeno.

The anti-Mahackeno voices are beginning to smack of NIMBYism and they should not prevail if the site is best for the Y and the best for the town.

Posted by Still Another Westporter on May 01, 2005 at 05:04 PM | #

I already told you this IS NOT a NIMBY issue!! I could not live any further away in Westport from the proposed Y site, yet I refuse to idle and watch our town be destroyed. Urban sprawl! Congestion! Mammoth building! Super-size parking! NO WAY-NO HOW.

Imperial lot (what a good idea!!!)

Posted by Jim Smyth on May 02, 2005 at 04:48 AM | #

As a parent of two swimmers,I have attended swim meets for years in Connecticut.Swimmers in Connecticut do not travel via bus.Their parents drive them and car pooling is very prevalent.Given the outstanding accesibility of Mahackeno to a major highway,the Merritt Parkway,many swimmers will arrive via that road,not 95.As for Preserved’s comment about vendor trucks…most swim meets do not have vendors at the meet.I should also point out that traffic on North Avenue to Staples will actually decline with a new Y at Mahackeno.Currently there are 70 members of the swim team that have to practice at Staples after school instead of at the Y because of lack of available pool time..The demand for pool time between lessons,water aerobics,lap swim,kayacking,scuba,therapeutics and swim team has this facility programmed past capacity.In additon,Y members are driving to Wilton and New Canaan for water polo, diving and synchronized swimming programs that our Y can’t offer.As a community,we need this new Y now and Mahackeno will be an outstanding location!I
Long Time Y Member

Posted by Long Time Y Member on May 02, 2005 at 12:10 PM | #

So Mr Smyth would rather build a facility for kids and families on a toxic landfill? And he thinks people on Imperial Avenue don’t believe they live in a residential neighborhood and wouldn’t protest as loudly as the people on Rice’s Lane? How, exactly, does building a facility that would serve kids, families, and retirees from all walks of life going to “destroy” Westport? This just isn’t credible.

Posted by Let's build it on May 02, 2005 at 12:17 PM | #

I would like to know how “Let’s build it” (poster above) is connected with the Y. This individual’s posts are so slanted.

At least the Imperial lot is already in a downtown area.

Posted by Mr. Smyth on May 02, 2005 at 10:44 PM | #