Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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Community Gardens Gains Approval

By Jennifer Connic

Community gardeners are one step closer to having a new home on the former Jaeger property.

The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a plan to place the gardens on the property adjacent to Long Lots Elementary School.

The plan features 30 plots on the west side of the property.

Planning and Zoning Director Laurence Bradley said the commission is requiring the gardens not be used between 8-9 a.m. and 3-4 p.m. to address some concerns from parents.

First Selectwoman Diane Farrell and Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy had proposed the limit on when the garden could be used in order to address safety concerns of parents at Long Lots.

They had also proposed each gardener be subject to a background check and wear an identification tag while using the gardens.

Bradley said the background checks and identification tags were not a requirement of the commission’s approval.

“They wanted to leave that to the Parks and Recreation Commission,” he said. “They only took on the site issues.”

The commission is also requiring only Westport residents be eligible to use the garden and for there to be a gate that is locked when the garden is not in use, he said.

Farrell said the commission’s conditions are fair.

“They address the concerns of the parents,” she said.

Allen Bomes, RTM District 7, said he was considering appealing the commission’s decision to the Representative Town Meeting because he does not agree with the time limits.

The commission’s conditions, however, could not be changed by the RTM, he said, so he will not appeal the decision.

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