To the Editor:

In 2017 the town surveyed residents on their recreation needs. Their highest priorities were beaches and natural open spaces, the lowest event and rental spaces. Yet, the town plans to build a rental space at Pear Tree Point Beach

The beach is a sandbar in a high wave velocity, 15 feet FEMA flood zone. It frequently floods in storms or at high tide during full moon. The structure will be two floors with an elevator and is massively out of scale for a small beach. The building committee has no cost estimates, but several million dollars have been tossed around at meetings.

There is overwhelming public opposition from residents living in all parts of town. Citizens are incredulous that the town refuses to even consider renovating the existing structurally sound ground level buildings, which have weathered many storms and are grandfathered in by FEMA for routine maintenance and limited improvements. Nor will they look at the alternative of building at the larger Weed Beach.

Many are distressed with the loss of a small, tranquil, scenic beach, its vistas and their cherished family memories.

Pear Tree Point Road is one of the busiest recreational jogging, walking and cycling roads in town. It is dangerously narrow, with no sidewalks and blind curves. The safety implications of increasing traffic on this busy mixed-use road have not been examined.

The town already has a rental room at Weed Beach. The autumn Parks & Recreation public event brochure lists a one-hour per week class at the Paddle Hut (cupcake making). Hardly evidence of any compelling need for more Parks & Rec program space.

The town is planning to spend $50 million rebuilding Ox Ridge Elementary School. Residents are reeling from the elimination of the Federal tax deduction for state income and local property taxes. Darien property taxes are hurting folk and collapsing home values.

How can another rental space possibly be a priority?

Jim Errington

Darien