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Preserving The Familiar Face Of Fairfield Hills



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Preserving The Familiar Face

Of Fairfield Hills

To the Editor:

The Friends of Fairfield Hills continue our series. This week: “How will the face of Fairfield Hills change if the proposed master plan is adopted?”

Selectmen’s master plan: Playing fields “…four multipurpose fields, two full-size baseball fields, two softball fields and two youth baseball fields…” will be constructed (Master Plan page 3). Two senior baseball fields — constructed at the rear of the campus. Space for fields and parking — demolition of five buildings. Number of trees destroyed — not given. New parking lot planned.

Two youth baseball and two softball fields — located on the west side of the core campus along Mile Hill South after the demolition of Cochran House and part of Canaan House. Tree destruction — not given. Parking — lawn area — rear of Plymouth and south of Canaan.

The impact of the four multipurpose fields is shown on the master plan map. The six mature maple trees that line the road to the present softball field, the road itself, the parking lot near the softball diamond, and Danbury Hall will be bulldozed and demolished. Two of the resulting fields will be very close to Wasserman Way and netting stretched between telephone poles will be needed to keep stray soccer balls from dropping onto Wassermann Way.

A recent proposal, not included in the master plan, is a recreation center to be located at FFH; however, no specific site has been identified. Cost — estimated $2.3 million; considered for 2006 (Capital Improvement Plan 2003).

Opinion: A less destructive plan and less costly plan is needed. The 1,174 parking spaces (12 acres of land — Sand Hill Plaza holds 1,000 cars) for commercial offices crowds the playing fields and leaves no space for a children’s playground, skating, preschool bike riding, and other activities for youths, adults and seniors. The destruction of the road to the softball diamond, etc is an expensive plan. A half-mile replacement road constructed along the rear of the campus will provide security personnel access to the water towers they must protect. No cost estimates are given for the new half-mile road.

Bridgeport Hall is extremely valuable. Groups, such as the Friends of the Library, Senior Center participants, VNA, supporters of the basketball program, and other winter activities asked for the space in Bridgeport Hall; however, the master plan lists the sponsor/investor for Bridgeport Hall as private/town. Do the selectmen propose the town will rent space in Bridgeport Hall for use by these groups? Will the building be divided? Will the kitchen be restored? The master plan is indefinite. The answer for the basketball proponents appears to be “wait for a new building.”

Our people’s plan sharply limits changes to the campus. Our goal is — Keep Newtown Rural — Keep Fairfield Hills Green! A municipal center not an office park. Fairfield Hills — I’ve grown accustomed to her face. Vote No on August 12 at the Middle School, 6 am to 8 pm, or file an absentee ballot.

Ruby Johnson

16 Chestnut Hill Road, Sandy Hook                            July 30, 2003

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