sub-page is gaining force - we are developing a "table of contents" -
we provide links below to other relevant subpages as well as an original
map of existing land use.
PUBLIC HEARING POSTPONED - was set for Sat. April 4, 2020, 10:30am, W.M.S. Library.
N E W S - T
A B L E O F C O N T E N T S
12-18-19 BOND COMMISSION ITEM #28 - IS THIS THE SIDEWALK GRANT WE"RE WAITING FOR FROM CT?
8-24 FOR WALKABILITY (DOUBLE CLICK ON AERIAL GRAPHIC)
"TOWN CENTER MASTER PLAN" RECOMMENDATION on zoning; RECOMMENDATION on ACTION plan.
And two entities busy implementing "Town Center /central part of town" - SIDEWALK COMMITTEE and FACILITIES OPTIMIZATION
B A C K G R O U N D
THE CENTER LOOKING FOR A MAKE-OVER?
AT THE PORTABLES MONDAY NIGHT IN THE RAIN...WE LEFT AFTER 1 1/2 HOURS
Perhaps the most often repeated statement was "all recommendations made from CITIZEN SURVEY were inserted."
SCHEDULE FOR ADOPTION:
COMMISSIONER DISCUSSION: What I was thinking and also what I heard...
- January 2, 2020 P&Z will approve the final draft.
- It is then sent to the Board of Selectmen.
- After P&Z vote 1-2-20, the clock begins for the 65 days of
public comment and then a Public Hearing...changes made if needed and
then adopted by P&Z.
Our full comments here
- How many and what kind of zoning changes are on the table? Answer: Lots and desire to do it fast.
- Improvements to infrastructure needed in the Center of
Town to support some of the consultant's/P&Z suggestions? Since we were not given the text, we don't
know whether this is recommended.
- How about increased density in the Center of
Town? "Yes" and they favored a Village District. Would the CT D.E.E.P. permit another tertiary
treatment plant to support such growth?
WORK IN WESTPORT DELAYING COMPLETION OF THE WESTON TOWN PLAN?
M&M waiting on the Board of Ed? Considering that the Weston B.O.E. has a ten year plan in the oven...
TOWN OF EASTON HAS A NEW TOWN PLAN. AND GETTING NEW ZONING. SOUNDS FAMILIAR * And how about this?
We've heard from 2 sources that the Plan will have
Final "Community Conversation" ran about as long as the 4 previous events!
So who spoke from the audience who was neither P&Z
member, member of the 4th estate, nor Town administration? Four
people. But they got answers to their questions!!!
One new face - a parent of 3 children (and
herself a graduate of W.H.S. returning to raise her family) who had many
questions to ask. Among them, about making sure Hurlbutt Field remained for kids to play
PART OF FUTURE TOWN CENTER VISION? IMPLEMENTATION ACTION PLAN (STAGES): WALKABILITY
In AUGUST the "8-24..."
Board of Selectmen's Onion Barn ("grey barn" on map of drainage and public way) improvement plan at P&Z...
I was wondering about the removal of the wall between right field on
the Onion Barn Field, having played right field there some years ago...why is this important?
- Consider what the new Plan for the Center indicates: Commercial
zoning for the "Four Corners" as well as the east side of Bus garage to the...Onion
- We ask respectfully to please remember that the Town Hall, Library
and Hurlbutt Elementary are on septic systems/septic fields, not tied into any
- I would think the "Plan" is for walking paths/sidewalks
from a re-purposed bus garage (at the north) graded up-hill to the
softball field - which may be used for another purpose in the future???
- The Sidewalk Plan is conceptually this...http://www.aboutweston.com#PZcenterplanblowupsidewalks.jpg
P&Z Chairman repeated what he had said at the Monday October 7th P&Z meeting:
Previously, in the Spring, there were two "charrettes." Followed
by presentation of the "Center" plan - the new Plan emphasis - scan down in reverse chronological order.
- Draft to be completed by Milone & MacBroom in October,
- Reviewed by Commission members individually in November and
- Made public on December 2nd.
- Sent to Selectmen who will hold a Public Hearing...
S I D E W A L K C O M M I T T E E
It meets in the Daugherty Commission Room and murals by Charles Daugherty adorn the walls
AGENDA for e-meeting (not yet posted), April 8th. After
confirming quorum, public noting to be published including link for call
in as well as agenda and any backup info.
SIDEWALK COMMITTEE AGENDA.
DECISION UNANIMOUS AFTER FULL EXPLORATION OF TWO DIFFERING IDEAS FOR COMPLETING FIRST PHASE.
Sidewalk Design, Wednesday January 29, 2020, 9:30am - noon.
Interviews with top two consultants to construct sidewalks in the
Central Part of Town by this summer.
WE HAVE NOT NAMED WINNER HERE. BOTH PRESENTATIONS WERE
EXCELLENT. FIRST SELECTMAN (EX-OFFICIO) ALSO CONTRIBUTED
Motion made by P&Z appointee, seconded by Police Commission
appointee - unanimous by Committee. Conservation and Education
members most significant points.
NOT A QUORUM - Finance, P&Z and Police represented but no Board of Education.
This agenda was not able to be taken up in its entirety - only "review" #2 was discussed with no decisions made - next meeting soon. T.B.A.
We didn't see this notice until too late...but we wouldn't have attended the "walk" anyway!
We had shared information with Town re: R.O.W. width. Graphic by M.S. Wirtenberg "Old Hyde Road - HHW Day"
We had a conflict and could not attend...
SAFETY FOR WALKERS AND VEHICLES: Principle of separating modes important...
SIDEWALK COMMITTEE MEETING PLANS TO WALK THE SKETCH PLAN ROUTE...NEXT.
- Above left, Norfield Road - apparently whatever is planned depends on right of way width - do you see room for a sidewalk?
- How about on Old Hyde Road?
- Altho' no quorum was present, discussion that ensued covered the extent of the "connectivity" obtainable in this process.
guest from the Beautification Committee (above, r) discussed what had
transpired at Planning and Zoning Special Meeting relating to walk-ability
downtown and discussion of zoning options.
- Although no official map of the "connectivity" and second phase of
sidewalks presented, estimate of total cost of such an effort is in the
- It is clear that school-related paths will have to be designed in
accordance with Board of Education - perhaps making walking trails
within the schools campus only available to students and perhaps school
staff (our idea here)?
All members appointed (P&Z, Bd of Ed, Finance,
designer, Conservation) present plus Town Administrator, Town Engineer,
First Selectmen (non-voting)
FIRST MEETING OF SIDEWALK COMMITTEE,
September 4, 2019
Remember the opening lines in "The Outlivers?"
Sidewalk Committee opening meeting...they plan to meet Wednesday at
9:30am in the Town Hall Commission Room. Will meet every other week.
The Plan is to get the project done A.S.A.P. (built next summer). But it could run over to the following summer.
However, it is their intention of having
various official input and one public meeting. About Town made a
few suggestions among which were get a map (accurate A-2???) of the
entire area and set out a timeline by working back from when you plan to
build it (next summer???)
Of course, the assumption is that people want such an "amenity." We note this idea was proposed by the Selectmen after the "Citizen Survey" indicated people wanted it.
Charlie, who really liked being allowed to participate in the "Survey" even tho' he isn't a "monkey" didn't vote for sidewalks.
T O W N P L A N C O M M U N I T
Y W O R K S H O P O C T O B E R
Thursday October 10, 2019 at 7:30pm in the WMS Library
Sparse crowd kept talking...
T O W N P L A N C O M M U N I T
Y W O R K S H O P S S E P T E M B E
Three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental, and social—(aka "PPP" - profits, planet, people).
9-9-19 TOWN PLAN "WORKSHOP" - OUR "STORY BOARD" HERE.
- There was an undertone of displeasure that a deeper analysis had
not taken place of cost-benefit for some of the proposed changes.
- Some questioned what we can do about meeting affordable housing mandates - indeed, no one wanted to answer that one.
- Some also questioned the idea that Weston real estate market wasn't worse than its neighbors' and
- We thought we heard from one resident who questioned whether the
survey response was indicative of the demographic picture of the whole
- Attendance by general public? Well, those in audience were some who have shown interest all along.
- But also members of boards and commissions with a stake in implementing the Plan, too.
A follow-up community meeting on Oct. 10, a Thursday, same time, same location.
The latest (August 24, 2019) on Weston Shopping Center: https://westontoday.news/articles/190823-weston-shopping-center
P&Z meeting of July 1, 2019 last item on the agenda devoted to The Plan Update.
This is done not because the item is an afterthought, but because
regular business done first. In this case, a rather full agenda:I
- including 8-24 on Town Green (sort of relates!)
- plus bond releases ($$ for developers returned upon successful completion of work)
- and an informal pre-application for special permit.
Click below for play-by-play in our words. And (r) in our pictures, too!
Town Center proposal no longer shows housing on 7 acres of private property. Recommended ACTION plan & ZONING ideas.
After brief but precise and modified presentation, questions from the smaller crowd in attendance were asked and answered. Chair. of P&Z explained next steps.
CLICK BELOW TO ENLARGE VISUAL ASSEMBLAGE OF MEETING
Citizen Survey drew crowd. Click above to enlarge assemblage
NEWS: The idea of "shared parking" in Stamford:
- April, #1 - @120
- May, Charrette #2 - @50
- June, Milone & MacBroom Presentation - @38
CHARETTE #2, May 4, 2019
At least 50 in audience - 10:30am to 1pm
Down to two options for the Town Center - don't forget to click to enlarge: Concept One and Concept Two.
3rd Selectman. Next, W.I.S. student, doing "Town
Plan" report for class contributed...everyone voted for various features
P&Z Chair. states this is the beginning - more to come to public in the Fall.
Then questions. Review of who asked what...below, who
answered! Coming, as we have mentioned already, who asked what...
Milone&MacBroom staff (P&Z Chair. [at right] sets the
table for the next phase of Plan process). This meeting ran an
hour longer than planned!
considered how to best express our idea of what "went down."
"Voting" on redesign preference methodology for Town Center a.k.a.
shopping center. NOT "center of town."
How many different people asked questions? How many spoke more than once? This metric developed from photos taken by About Town of every speaker (estimate of multiple times).
Twenty-four (24) of the approximately fifty (50)
members of the audience asked questions. NOTE: Audience
number dropped off at 12 noon.
- Approximately nine (9) asked more than one question and made contributions to planners' thinking going forward.
- Raised hands in photos above politely asked why on earth Weston would want to raze the privately held Center?
- And the elephant in the room, the fiscal health of CT and...well, we won't editorialize here!
AT THE END THE AUDIENCE REMAINING WAS INVITED TO SHARE THOUGHTS ON DESIGN OF TOWN CENTER OPTIONS
Which folks did!
Although many in the audience had remained
sanguine during Q&A, much food for thought was offered to the
consultants during this end period.
FIRST 2019 TOWN CENTER CHARETTE: Not like the charettes in architecture/planning school some time ago.
April 6, 2019 at 10:30am - 1:15pm, W.I.S. cafetorium. A second one scheduled for May 4th, same time of day, same location.
All 3 options show removal of Onion Barn.
UNOFFICIAL LEGEND. DON"T FORGET TO DOUBLE CLICK TO ENLARGE EACH PLAN TO READ WORDS!!!
Three visions presented by Milone & MacBroom: Town Center Charette Concepts - click on legend for full size plan.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN "PLANNING" AND "ZONING"
Some may have wondered if zoning anything "commercial" was not spot zoning - a "village district" concept would bypass this, we think.
I like the bus garage right where it is. My definition of 2020 center
of town includes School Campus, Cobb's Mill, Bisceglie, Norfield/St. Francis and DPW.
How do you define "charette"
nowadays, post French Revolution? Bus route to Westport - how
old is that idea? Move the Onion Barn? And how about a
Note the reference to "the six acre property...purchased in 1949."
- One of the reasons this is important is because Weston Shopping
Center Inc. owns seven more acres behind and adjacent to the original
property mentioned in their letter.
- Another is the "pre-existing non-conforming use" (this parcel
developed before the Town of Weston had any zoning regulations)
protections in today's CT Statutes, strengthened recently.
And by the way, where or what is a "center?" (Weston Shopping Center).
How the Plan relates to zoning: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoning_in_the_United_States
How CT Historic Districts differ from Village Districts: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2003/rpt/2003-R-0921.htm
In a new venue...in addition, home occ data revealed we're way out of step...in a good way (17% of workforce)
This special P&Z meeting had to be held "off-site" from their
usual location - this time in the "Movie Room" at the Senior Center. Flick: "DOWNTOWN"
We went to a terrific movie!
So now we know where the Town is thinking of "walkability"
but there are rumblings of moving the bus garage and parking the bus
fleet perhaps at DPW...not a new proposal.
MOVE BUS GARAGE...WHY NOW? "Good Riddance Day" history above - previously, high school parking lot used for HHW Day.
this idea bit the dust because if memory serves (really old photo above, center), it was a matter of
bridging wetlands, or something like that.. Aerial below of
Central Part of Town.
SIDEWALKS IN WESTON!!! An amenity that one hopes will be used,
and a potential budget item to keep maintained - if not, law suits if
Above (at top) the way all the different circulation projects fit
together; above, two views showing School Road intersection
redesign and a third, link to Town Hall.
THE EXISTING LAND USE DRAFT MAP, 2019; TOWN ADMINISTRATOR REPORTS
And how this all fits together with the Town of Weston connectivity grant plus sidewalks plus School Road intersection and extra lane...
At January 7th meeting, P&Z
received a presentation on the initial results of the survey. NOW ONLINE AT TOWN WEBSITE...Plus
a review of housing, transportation and demographics.
TOWN PLAN MAYBE GOING TO AGREE WITH...ABOUT TOWN'S PLAN?
Mike Zuba AICP, (not shown) Milone&MacBroom Associate, presented CITIZEN SURVEY DATA
Most interesting was traffic (above left, M&M staff, formerly of
WestCOG) review of secondary data; fascinating transport options change . At least I
thought so! Next month we should see a map or 2...
What was new?
- Traffic counts on state highways more than, to me,
reflections of Journey to Work (to a city). And M&M indicated
the responses to traffic and railroad use confirm this?
- Desire for walking and pedestrian activity in the
center of town. But not crossing Route 57 as if it were a
- Demographics: As much as 25% of town is
going to move (a large number than most places?) soon. This is an
- And...what was suspected - what we call "The Ring"
around the center of town needed traffic count/turning - which is
something M&M can do, will do, is capable of doing.
The survey results said strongly "thanks for asking - as much as we'd like to, it just isn't convenient - we'll trust you to move ahead by yourselves so long as you don't change things much."
I was most impressed at the news that traffic counts in
Weston, from CT data, appear to show a trend toward DECREASE due to
changing employment patterns. Both working at home. consulting
and/or self-employed spiking!
PLANNING IS A HANDS ON, "WINDSHIELD SURVEY" STAND AND DELIVER DATA IN AN
INTERESTING FASHION KIND OF PROFESSION. At least that's
what I do. It is all about making maps come alive.
CENTRAL PART OF TOWN PLAN: What is the central part of Weston?
HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION OPENS PUBLIC HEARING APRIL 3, 2019:
- Public Hearing (notice published in the Norwalk HOUR) begun
Wednesday night on Beautification Committee proposal (see concept plan
above left) to make a "Town Green" in front of Town Hall.
- I call this space "The Greensward"...see below.
- Thru the years it has been used for "Rites of Spring" and
Memorial Day ceremony - to get a re-do as part of update of Town Plan
- This Public Hearing will continue next month. More detail needed on structures included in the Town Green Plan.
SURVEY CLOSED - BUT NOT CLOSED ARE THE FERTILE MINDS THINKING OF WAYS TO MAKE A TOWN CENTER: First report (Dec. 19th) just a "WOW" (@2000 responses)
ELSEWHERE DEPT.: Wilton did one too - here is a link to HOUR article: https://www.thehour.com/wilton/article/Survey-Schools-are-Wilton-s-biggest-draw-13491627.php
C H A R L I E S A Y S " D O I T M E O W " O R D O N ' T C O M P L A I N
BY DECEMBER 15: Don't forget to fill out and send in your "Citizen Survey" to help P&Z!!!
HOW DOES ONE DETERMINE IF A SURVEY RESPONSE LEVEL IS SIGNIFICANT? https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/sample-size-calculator/?utm_expid=.cOMQLyyUQhqbVct5bsJlAA.0&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.surveymonkey.com%2Fcuriosity%2Fhow-many-people-do-i-need-to-take-my-survey%2F
Of course, this is making it simple. There is so
much more to analysis of surveys in particular how the questi9ns were
developed in the first place...
An easy way to understand WHAT MAKES A SURVEY RELIABLE: https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/sample-size-calculator/?utm_expid=.cOMQLyyUQhqbVct5bsJlAA.0&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.surveymonkey.com%2Fcuriosity%2Fhow-many-people-do-i-need-to-take-my-survey%2F
WAS THIS "CITIZEN SURVEY" A SUCCESS? WE THINK
SO. HOWEVER, IT WAS A SELF-SELECTED SAMPLE. HOW CAN WE
COMPARE WHO RESPONDED TO GENERAL DATA, FOR EXAMPLE, BY AGE?
- What number should you use for sample size -
"18yrs and over of total population?" How about using the 2010
U.S. Census of Population: http://www.aboutweston.com/censusmap.html#2010data
- When taking the survey, you had to fill out
everything for each question. Or you couldn't advance to the next
question. And thus could not complete the survey.
- All those "1-5" judgements on the strength of your
feelings will be interesting to cross tabulate by the straight factual
ones (assuming these were honest responses).
- Open-ended questions: Analysis should be
most interesting - will these be cross-tabulated? Will they be
massaged to come up with any larger message?
"Implementation Section" in all previous updates.
COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING INVOLVES SETTING GOALS & OBJECTIVES, ESTABLISHING POLICIES AND PROGRAMS
November 15th a postcard came - up online that very morning!
Thursday, Dec. 6th, 1740 responses (of approx. 7000 [our number] - with
statistics you want to include as many inputs as possible to smooth out
estimates). First Selectman's announcement used registered voters
only, we believe, which statistically would boost the percentage turnout
- do the math - because 1)not everyone is a registered voter who is
eligible to be one, and 2)non-citizens not included)!
R E A D Y T O R O L L
SURVEY & RESEARCH, October 29, 2018
SURVEY COMMITTEE HARD AT WORK: Watch for a post
card SOON announcing the online survey, to be featured for the month
from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15 on the Town Website.
QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS
At their third meeting things began to be finalized almost - we
are close to the point of getting involved in the new Town Plan - please
take the time to fill it out!!!!
This survey is going to roll out on
November 15th for end date return of Dec.15th. Although we will
not disclose any actual questions, take it from me - this is the real
thing. It will require some time to fill out completely, but I
have to say that it is very thorough. It even asks if you attend
"Speak Up" among other things in Town.
F O R C L A R I T Y . . .or
as the buzz word goes, "transparency"...we received a draft of the
survey at 10-29-18 meeting and sat through the ensuing meeting and it
was a real treat to see Weston volunteers churning out this fabulous
work product. Awesome.
W H Y I
T I S D I F F I C U L T T O
F I G U R E S T U F F O U T
HOW WILL THESE ENTITIES INTERACT? OTHER ADVISORY ENTITIES POST MINUTES. We note that no minutes for either of these TOWN PLAN RELATED groups appear
on the Town of Weston website. We assume nothing was accomplished
requiring action - but there were elections notes in the agenda for
both - but no news of who was elected.
SURVEY & RESEARCH: Agendas only. But they do a
great job - we've observed them, and observed them observing other
MARKETING & COMMUNICATION: Agendas only. No
minutes. Action taken, determined perhaps, by Board of
they have their information recently on the Town of Weston website
(power point) here.
A particular sKILL of Milone & MacBroom.
What is a "charette?" A word with history. Modern American planning version April 6th at W.I.S.
- It is the cart that hauled the nobility to the above device during the French Revolution...
- Then amusingly the title of the cart at
the École des Beaux-Arts carrying drawings of architectural students
- And modern architecture students then used the term to redefine "all-nighters" to finish up drawings for their final presentations.
CHECK THIS OUT
From Google: Word on why population in Fairfield County is bucking
Harbor Point one example of their work: https://www.miloneandmacbroom.com/
Special Meeting of P&Z at 9am in Town Hall Annex (no video - to meet with Milone & MacBroom): http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/P%26ZAgenda9.12.18.pdf
Posted minutes (unapproved): http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/P%26ZMtgMinutes9.12.18.pdf
Planning & Zoning Commission, September 5, 2018
At September 5, 2018 meeting, it was reported that Milone and MacBroom had been retained to update the 2010 Plan. They
were asked to work to develop questions for P&Z to have included in
a joint survey with the Town of Weston.Board of Selectmen
What is that old saying again? Something about a picture being worth 1000 words?
Click to enlarge. In some cases. "enlarge" in the sense of gaining further information!
STARTING THE PROCESS THE RIGHT WAY - THE NEW PLAN TO BE DEVELOPED ON A SOUND FOUNDATION.
ON THE REGIONAL (DETAIL) MAP LEGEND, BLANK AREAS STAND FOR "RURAL LAND" RED IS FOR "TOWN CENTER"
We hope P&Z agrees with
our assessment of Town Plan consultant. This firm first planned for SWRPA & Weston in
1995...has Weston changed? The region? Weston Center 2010 (second from right).
Please note that About Town is not an official member of any public body
at this time. Our opinions are our own and are shared with those
interested in following Weston CT planning.
- Recognition of centrality theme ("Town Center" in red). 2010 site plan map second from right.
- About Town land use map from 1999 NOW UPDATED TO 2018. Shows Weston
Center in red (for "commercial") and the Town Hall-Fire House-Library in
- Regional contribution
by Weston (1995 - Devil's Den Preserve). We note this was before
Trout Brook Valley purchase and other open space parcels on boarders and
regional open space.
- Clear emphasis on need for infrastructure to support both economic and residential growth.
- Cost-benefit analysis of any changes proposed to be initiated due to Town opinion surveys.
- (R) Last SWRPA
Regional Plan update - About Town supervised this project for the
regional agency, building upon award-winning B.F.J. document.
2010 TOWN PLAN UPDATE KICK-OFF FOR 2020 PLAN CONSULTANTS