Saying they still need to reach an agreement with district officials about how a proposed new access road linking New Canaan High School to Waveny would be used, members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their most recent meeting voted 7-1 in favor the concept.
The proposed road would run south of the parking lot that sits between Dunning Field and the tennis courts at NCHS, through a grass area toward where the Summer Theatre of New Canaan had its site, and connect to a milled lot alongside the Waveny water towers.
By installing parking spaces on either side of the new road, and at the same time expanding “water tower field” parking, New Canaan would gain about 75 new spaces in an area that now requires more of them, with the launch of additional turf fields, officials have said.
Briefed on the plan in March, some Parks & Rec commissioners said they worried the new access road would bring unwanted additional traffic to Waveny. Since then, members of the Commission have walked the site and studied the plan in greater detail, and at their April 10 meeting voted to approve the idea, though questions about whether gates on either side of the road would be “locked during the day full-time, open only on weekends, only allowed for teacher parking or student parking” still must be worked out, Chairman Rona Siegel said.
The Commission and Board of Ed still must meet “to determine an agreed-upon use of the egress,” Siegel said at the meeting, held in Town Hall.
“Parks and Rec will work with the Board of Education to determine hours and use of that access road,” she said.
Along with the chairman, Commissioners Jack Hawkins, Carl Mason, Laura Costigan, Matt Konspore, Hank Green and Gene Goodman voted in favor of the concept. Commissioner Francesca Segalas voted against it and Commissioners Doug Richardson, Steve Haberstroh and Sally Campbell were absent.
In effect, the vote allows public works to continue working with an architect on a formal plan and to apply for permission with a gas company to create the access road and new parking areas (which would be located on top of the Tennessee Gas Line).
Advocates for the new road have said it would improve access to the high school for emergency responders, and have said parts of the expanded parking area could be set aside for teachers or other NCHS groups.