Board defers on building project

The Darien Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a motion to put the Short Lane project near Weed Beach on hold at the board’s Feb. 25 meeting.

The selectmen decided to defer the Short Lane construction funding of $450,000, keeping $50,000 in the Board of Selectmen’s budget for modest maintenance or improvements.

The Short Lane Project has been designated for an acre of property next to Weed Beach. This parcel is one of three potential sites in town that has open space possibilities for extra outdoor recreation options.

The design plan would involve creating an open lawn with a plaza and viewing area. Walking, running, and strolling pathways would interweave throughout the open “space, which would be used for picnics and gatherings.

Five hundred thousand dollars was put into the capital budget for the construction of Short Lane. An additional $125,000 for paving the parking lot would look to be bundled in with the money needed for the parking lots at Highland Farm.

At the Board of Selectmen meeting, Selectman Marc Thorne said that Short Lane is “quite expensive.”

“I haven’t been sold on the plan,” Thorne continued. “In particular, the boardwalk seems to me not necessary to do right away.”

Selectman Pamela Sparkman said the Short Lane construction in general “is still a great addition, as is.”

Town Administrator Kate Buch agreed, saying that the area can be used “right now.”

Stevenson said that she would want to make sure the town has the ability to “activate” Short Lane if residents want to use it for a picnic, or rent it out and have an event there.

sfox@darientimes.com