The Irwin Park "Greenway" at 929 Weed Street: Potential Walking Path Options

The following diagram was presented by neighbors at last week's Planning and Zoning meeting during the discussion of a proposed 3 lot subdivision at 929 Weed Street. Since this diagram was facing the wrong way for most people in the audience to see it, I thought it would be useful to publish it here with a discussion of the issues.

First of all, the Land Trust owns two parcels of approximately 2 acres each. They are located on this map just above and just below the bright yellow box. Both of those properties are not only designated wetlands but are in fact very wet during most of the year. Any request by the Land Trust to cross wetlands will be subject to review by Kathleen Holland and approval by the Inland Wetlands Commission. 



The first diagram shows in Option A (blue) and Option B (red) two paths through that lot out to Weed Street. The reason for two paths is that it is wet and muddy in the center of that lot and the two options are meant to show that we may not be able to take the straightest path to the street. The bright yellow box represents a potential easement across the driveway for pedestrians to walk across. Neighbors have asked the Land Trust to ask for this easement. Their idea is that rather than exit the property onto Weed Street by making a hole in the wall 200 feet to the north of the driveway pedestrians would follow along the wall, cross the driveway, and continue along the wall for another 100 feet before cutting through onto the street.
An earlier proposal showing the wet areas in red and a path between them to Weed Street. 


One question seems to be whether that path continues on the inside of the stone wall or through the stone wall, possibly connecting to a future sidewalk. At this time there is a plan by Public Works to build a sidewalk from Elm Street to Irwin Park, but the dates and budget for that sidewalk are probably a few years in the future.  Here is the list of sidewalk projects proposed by Public Works in July 2014:

Source: New Canaan Public Works 

Land Trust has not asked for a particular path. If this subdivision is approved and the easement along the northern edge of the property completes the link between Weed Street Land Trust properties eastward to the Nature Center, then the Land Trust will begin studying the engineering costs and environmental impact of our options. If the owner/developer of 929 Weed Street offers the Land Trust an easement across his driveway then this may be a cheaper and preferable alternative to building a sidewalk. But at this point it hasn't been studied and we don't really know.

-John Engel