To the Editor:

I am extremely frustrated and concerned by the article printed in last week’s Darien Times titled: Pear Tree proposed renovation plans. The final paragraph is a quote from Jayme Stevenson, “So, if the Police Commission requests that office space is included in any Pear Tree Beach facility FEMA-compliant renovation plan, it cannot be planned for the ground level.” Anyone reading this article would think that if the Police Commission requests office space at PTPB then it would have to be built in a two-story building. The truth is if the town chooses to just renovate the existing structures at PTPB, ALL of the existing spaces (bathrooms, concession stand, lifeguard and first aid stations and the police office/storage space) can all remain on the first level and will all be useable space. It is only if the town chooses to tear down the existing structures to build a "FEMA-compliant facility” that everything (all spaces listed above) would need to be moved to the second level.

The fact is the police already have a 9.5’x12.5’ office/storage space in the existing concession stand building at PTPB. At the 11-20-19 P&R Commission meeting, Police Chief Anderson stated that the existing, combined office/storage space at PTPB is what they would like to keep but "was not aware but apparently FEMA regulations say we can’t have an office on the first floor.” (Watch the meeting: https://vimeo.com/374658744 ) The police chief and the entire Darien community have been misinformed; the current space can be used as is or renovated.

It is imperative for residents to understand the distinction between just renovating (for $2K+) and preserving what is currently at PTP Beach verse tearing down the existing buildings and building two story structures that will move all services to the second floor and require an elevator (for $1.5M+). Town officials need to stop disseminating partial truths and the journalists that report this information as fact need to check their statements. Most residents in town are completely misinformed about this project because so much misinformation has been circulated and printed and it starts at the top.

Janienne Hackett

Darien