Letter: Rooftop parking lots do not belong in Darien

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Send letters to the editor to: Editor@DarienTimes.com

Hearst Connecticut Media

To the Editor:

BMW of Darien is in the process of expanding its property. The Planning and Zoning Commission has approved an increase in land coverage and height of its buildings. As part of its service building plan bordering on a residential area, they have proposed a roof top parking lot. The PZC has not approved that particular use and now that use has been put forward to the Architectural Review Board.

The concept of a rooftop parking lots, here and elsewhere in Darien, should be summarily rejected by both the Architectural Board and the Planning Board. Darien deserves better.

In its online presentation to the ARB on Nov. 18, little mention was made of this aspect of the plan nor of the fact that it adjoins the Middlesex Commons Condominiums of sixty residences. That ARB meeting was a “special meeting “ and public commentary was not permitted; naturally, the lawyer, architect and landscaping speakers presented their clients interest without mention of the opposition by neighbors or other Darien residents.

The concept of rooftop parking lots is dangerous and will spread rapidly. Two other nearby properties are considered in the same zone: Land Rover and Whole Foods. One can only speculate as to when they would use this concept to expand. Nearby and adjacent there are more commercial properties, including the Chevy dealership, who certainly would consider using the same concept to expand their usable space.

As part of its initial expansion application, BMW used comparisons of density and height to the downtown requirements; no doubt, those businesses also will use the BMW roof concept to enhance their interests.

The ARB states on its own application form that “when making its decisions, reviewing the architectural design to ensure harmony with the neighborhood and surrounding uses, and to preserve and improve the appearance and beauty of the community.” Hopefully both the ARB and PZC will deny BMW’s request.

Jack Regan