Three public hearings on one night in Weston

The town is considering purchasing the property at 48 Norfield Road.

The town is considering purchasing the property at 48 Norfield Road.

The Weston Board of Selectmen will be getting an earful from the public on Monday, June 10. That’s the evening the board has scheduled three separate public hearings, beginning at 7.

One hearing is on a single ordinance created to accept a number of ordinance changes the board made when revising the Town Code. Changes were made to the following:

  • Posting of meetings: An ordinance on the books stated that public meetings must be noticed by posting signs, including on a tree in Georgetown.
  • Tag sale permits: Permits will now be given by the Police Department rather than by the first selectman.
  • Numbering: In re-doing the Town Code, some sections were moved for clarity and need to be re-numbered.

A second public hearing will be held June 10 to gather public input on the possible purchase of 48 Norfield Road by the town.

First Selectman Gayle Weinstein said the town is “a long way from a decision” on the purchase, but since the Planning and Zoning Commission did not require a hearing when it granted a favorable 8-24 approval, the selectmen decided they would hold one.

Dave Coprio of the Building Committee is working on gathering information to be able to provide some preliminary cost estimates at the public hearing, Ms. Weinstein said. The town has been offered the property for $750,000 by owner Fairfield County Bank, but several things will likely need to be done to the house in order to make it usable for municipal purposes.

“I want to be up front and as transparent as possible with people about the fact we will need to spend some dollars if we want to purchase this property,” Ms. Weinstein said.

Some of the potential costs include replacing a furnace that works but is 20 years old, replacing the roof, re-pointing the chimneys, and installing insulation, and there may be some OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requirements, too, depending on what the building is ultimately used for.

If the public seems to want to pursue the purchase of 48 Norfield Road, after getting cost estimates, Ms. Weinstein said the next step would be to talk with the Board of Finance about ways to structure the payment most effectively. A Town Meeting would ultimately need to vote to approve the purchase.

Ms. Weinstein said she would like to see most of the decisions made before the end of June; holding hearings and Town Meetings in the summer is not the best idea, she said, because so many people are out of town.

A third public hearing is set for Monday, June 10, on changes made to the town’s firearms ordinance.

Several hearings were already held on preliminary changes to the town’s gun regulations that the Board of Selectmen began making several months ago after the tragic shootings in Newtown in December 2012.

Since then, however, the board decided to remove a provision allowing target practice on residential property. Under the newly revised ordinance, target practice will be allowed only in designated areas such as the Weston Gun Club and the Weston Field Club.

The board believes the change is “significant enough” to warrant another hearing before it votes on the final draft of the gun ordinance.

The Board of Selectmen is scheduled to meet immediately following the public hearings, at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 10.

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