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Thursday, March 22 News

P&Z to review modifications to town-owned Ox Ridge property next month

DARIEN — Plans to add parking spots and fencing to the town-owned Ox Ridge property — now known as 560 Middlesex Road — have been put on hold until more detailed information is provided to Planning and Zoning.

“In order for the town to do a significant improvement to town-owned property, it has to come through the Planning and Zoning Committee to make sure improvements are in accordance with the town development plan,” Planning and Zoning Chairman John Sini said in an update last Friday.

These proposed changes are part of the town’s plan to make the 16-acre town-owned Ox Ridge property more accessible to the public.

The improvements in the mandatory referral, which in accordance to state statutes has to be reviewed by Planning and Zoning, included items such as parking, landscaping, fencing and possible modification to access ways.

“It was decided for the Board of Selectmen to pull back and have a plan for further details and from what I understand we will see an application for a special permit in April,” Sini said.

According to Planning and Zoning Director Jeremy Ginsberg, the special permit application will detail the various improvements regarding parking, fencing as well as proposals for programming and scheduling in accordance with town regulation.

“The exact public hearing date (for the special permit) will depend upon the date that application is submitted,” Ginsberg said via email. “As that special permit date approaches, a separate new mandatory referral report request will be submitted by the Selectmen to the Planning and Zoning Commission.”

Residents will be able to make comments at the hearing as the special permit is reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission — as in previous deliberations regarding the Ox Ridge property and its proposed uses, residents are expected to attend these future Planning and Zoning meetings to voice concerns.

“We will make sure that parking is OK and any regrading fits the requirements and that any traffic generated would not be disturbing the surrounding area,” Sini said.

First Selectman Jayme Stevenson was called into the Feb. 13 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. Stevenson agreed that it would be best to withdraw the mandatory referral and submit another one, with a more detailed site plan, to the commission in April along with a special permit application.

The Board of Selectmen had previously approved proposed uses — including certain active recreational activities, parking and athletic fields — back in January in a unanimous decision citing that the community should have public access to the 16-acre property.