Inland Wetlands Commission to Hold Special Meeting on Grace Farms

The commission will discuss on Thursday whether to allow the owner of the 75-acre property to build a church.


The New Canaan Inland Wetlands Commission is scheduled to hold a special meeting on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Sturgess Room at the New Canaan Nature Center to discuss an application that would allow the owner of the Grace Farms property on the north side of town near the Pound Ridge border to build a new church and community center. The meeting will be open to the public, but no public comments will be taken.

The application also seeks permission to conducted related improvements, including "library, office, dining/living, gymnasium, bathroom and foyer buildings/structures" and "modify existing barn as well as parking areas, access drives, drainage improvements, grading and landscaping."

According the New Canaan Advertiser, residents opposed to the project believe that the plans would have "adverse environmental impacts, including negative impacts on the wetlands" because of the 63,000 cubic yards of fill of that would be added to the property during construction. Engineers of the project denied during a Jan. 14 meeting that the fill could potentially contaminate the area, which was a concern of one of the neighboring property owners.

If the commission does not come to a decision on the application on Thursday, another special meeting is scheduled to be held on Feb. 11, according to the Advertiser.

robert January 23, 2013 at 03:37 PM
the inland commission should hold their ground, no pun intended. 63000 yards is akin to covering an entire football field 36 feet high, almost 4 stories. this seems a bit much. no one wants to infringe on anyone's religious freedom but no one wants the beauty and environmental qualities sacrificed in the process.
Hector Medina January 24, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Without hard data of the total size of the project, it is hard to figure out if it is "much" or "little". It seems to me that a new church and a new community center, plus the parking areas, new building for office, gym, etc. and the drainages, driveways and landscaping, would occupy much more than a football field size area. It would be much better if the town had a study of permeable area retained, fill to be used and method of encasement, projected storm drainages when the job is done not only in the property, but also to properties adjacent to this one, and a cost/benefit study of using a different method of construction. There is the technology to do this without too much affectation to either environment or other properties. But a good, solid, fact-filled discussion needs to take place.


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