George Benson

  • Growing Pains At The Farmers’ Market

    Townspeople would love to see an expanded Farmer’s Market at Fairfield Hills, said Jim Shortt, whose farmstand is one of the anchors there. Other markets in the state offer more variety and cater to the desires of today’s shopper, he said, with selections of jams, jellies, baked goods, wines, oils, prepared foods, and sandwiches.

    But why Newtown’s market offers such a limited selection is complicated, both town officials and local farmers agree.

  • Sandy Hook Fire Substation Expansion OK’d

    Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) members have unanimously approved an expansion project for the fire substation of the Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company, which would more than double the size of the structure at 249 Berkshire Road (Route 34).

    George Benson, town director of planning, presented plans for the expansion project to P&Z members at an August 6 public hearing. Mr Benson termed the application “straightforward.”

    No members of the public spoke at the hearing.

  • Major Hawleyville Project Considered

    Representatives for a local church were scheduled to meet with town land use officials on July 9 at a “pre-application meeting” to discuss aspects of the church’s major mixed-use proposal to construct a new church, a large multifamily housing complex, and some commercial space on acreage in Hawleyville. The site is located west of Hawleyville Road (Route 25) and south of the Exit 9 off-ramp for eastbound Interstate 84.

  • Economic Development Update Reveals What’s Going Up, What’s Coming Down

    The Board of Selectmen heard presentations by two key town staffers June 1, detailing a number of comings and goings.

    Brief presentations by Economic Development Coordinator Betsy Paynter and Planning Director George Benson revealed a number of new commercial projects going up or being planned for development, as well as buildings that have or will be coming down after being cited under Newtown’s Blight Ordinance.

  • P&Z Approves Major Subdivision In Dodgingtown

    Following detailed review during the past several months, Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) members have conditionally approved The Preserve at Newtown, a planned 23-lot residential subdivision on 167 acres in Dodgingtown.

    Notably, about half of the subdivision site would be preserved as undeveloped open space land which will be open to the public and reserved for low-intensity passive forms of recreation, such as hiking and nature study.

  • Ann Mazur Leaving Town Service After Long Career

    People navigating the twists and turns of the land use review process often found answers to their questions when they found Ann Mazur, who, as the town Land Use Agency’s administrative assistant, kept track of the many developmental details required for submission before construction approvals are granted.

    Ms Mazur of Sandy Hook, who has worked at the agency since 2001, has been a town staff member in various capacities for almost 25 years.

  • Size Of Proposed Multifamily Complex Still Unclear

    Local officials realize that a Trumbull developer is proposing a “big” multifamily housing project for a 35-acre site in Sandy Hook, near the Exit 10 interchange of westbound Interstate 84. The problem is, it remains unclear just how big the controversial project proposed by 79 Church Hill Road, LLC, would be.

  • Lawmakers Rethink Affordable Housing As Local Officials, Residents Testify At Hearing

    In separate Connecticut Senate and House proposals, Newtown’s legislative delegation — Senator Tony Hwang and Representatives Mitch Bolinsky, J.P. Sredzinski, and Dan Carter — is proposing changes to a statute that currently permits developers to circumvent local zoning restrictions on residential projects if the community does not currently conform to Connecticut’s ten percent threshold under affordable housing requirements.

  • Traffic Study Sought By Police Commission For Firehouse Project

    Although the Borough Zoning Commission (BZC) last week unanimously approved Newtown Hook & Ladder’s proposal to build a firehouse at 12 Church Hill Road without a traffic study having been performed, the Police Commission this week, in its role as the local traffic authority, told the volunteer fire company that it wants a traffic study done before it would review and make a recommendation on th

  • Residents, Officials Express Views On Housing At Fairfield Hills

    On Saturday, December 6, the town held the first of two public forums on the advisability of allowing rental apartments by special zoning permit at the Fairfield Hills campus.

    A second forum on the controversial topic was slated for 7 pm on Thursday, December 11, also in the library of Reed Intermediate School.