To the Editor:

I have served on the Park and Recreation Commission for over 12 years. At last week’s meeting, the feedback session for the Pear Tree Point Beach renovation fell victim to a packed agenda, so I wanted to provide the following information in another forum (note that I don’t presume to speak for any of my fellow Commissioners).

Regarding feedback on Pear Tree, we are continually in a listening mode. The Pear Tree Beach Building Committee has already responded to resident comments and made numerous revisions to the plan, including:

- Removing several access ramps,

- Not employing berms and keeping head-in parking with harbor views,

- Eliminating the proposed boardwalk on the jetties,

- Proposing a two-story building with a lower, inclined slope to comply with FEMA regulations and to keep the foot print and sight lines as close to the original building as possible,

- Keeping the bathrooms at ground level, and

-Reducing the size of the Flexible Community Program Space.

The Committee also clarified that rental of the space (1) would only be during the off-season, (2) would only be available to Darien organizations and residents, and (3) would end no later than 10 p.m. An attendant will also be on duty during all rentals.

We received a number of traffic safety concerns, but what is surprising is that most of those concerns were about today’s situation on Pear Tree Point —I am going to propose that we work with the Police Department to actually assess the traffic situation and propose solutions.

We also heard comments about managing overflow parking for large events at the beach--I will be sure that improving this will be on our future agenda.

I do think that this could be another transformative project for the town, like Weed Beach was. The finished project will result in a bathhouse with space that is beautiful and accessible for all ages and challenges, a boat launch ramp that is actually usable, and a parking lot that will alleviate drainage issues. Weed Beach’s biggest doubters are now among its heaviest users, and we hope and expect that the same will be true for Pear Tree Point Beach.

Full details about the project are available at the Park and Recreation website: http://www.darienct.gov/PTBBC

Susan Daly

Member, Darien Park and Recreation Commission