A public comment session has been scheduled at the beginning of the next Board of Selectmen meeting on Thursday, March 21, devoted exclusively to discussion about a possible town purchase of 48 Norfield Road, the historic house and property on the corner of Norfield and Weston roads.
The town is considering buying the property for $750,000. That is about $200,000 less than the appraised value.
The one-acre property, once owned by former First Selectman George Guidera, is currently owned by Fairfield County Bank, which has agreed to negotiate the sale with the town.
First Selectman Gayle Weinstein said she worked with the bank “to come up with a price I thought was fair and that I could bring to the residents of the town.”
Ms. Weinstein said she thinks it is “an important piece of property” given that it’s contiguous to the rest of the town campus that includes town hall, the library, Norfield firehouse, the communications center and police department, Jarvis House, and the schools.
Town administrators are considering moving Weston’s land use offices to the house if it is purchased and renovated. Those offices are now located in the Town Hall Annex, a temporary building near the school district’s central office. The annex is nearing the end of its life span, and, the first selectman said, it is confusing and inconvenient for residents and contractors who think the offices are in town hall.
Because of declining school enrollment, the town considered moving some municipal offices to one of the school buildings, but, Ms. Weinstein said, “the Board of Education has made it clear it has an issue with land use offices in the schools, so to me, this would be a perfect location.”
However, Ms. Weinstein said, the board really wants to hear from the public about the proposal to buy the property.
The selectmen may vote on the purchase at the March 21 meeting, but it would not be a final vote. It is likely the vote would be to send a proposal to the Planing and Zoning Commission for an 8-24 review.
Any purchase agreement would have to get the approval of the Board of Finance and the voters at a Town Meeting.
After that, any plan for a specific use for the property would have to once again get 8-24 approval from P&Z.