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YMCA Expansion Gets the Go Ahead

Vice Chairman Joseph Spain was the lone dissenting vote, but the Darien Planning and Zoning Commission approved a proposal Tuesday evening from the Darien YMCA to build a new gymnastics facility, among other revisions.

Plans also were approved to reconstruct the westerly portion of the building, which houses the Holly Pond school, and to renovate and enlarge the parking lot with a new sidewalk and landscaping.

The permit application passed in a 5-1 vote. "I'm not going to support it, but I don't believe the nine issues that were raised either taking singularly or in the aggregate make up a significant difference between the situation that existed two or three years ago, whenever the other application came before us, and what we have now," Spain said.

Traffic in the surrounding area was the main concern mentioned. "I would caution the Y to very effectively manage this asset so we don't end up a year from now and have testimony from residents they have violated – have had cars parked on the road – all the problems that have surfaced during the public debate don't come to pass," Chairman Frederick Conze said.

The Planning and Zoning Commission also unanimously voted to allow the Darien Junior Football League to use three temporary lights at Holahan Field from Oct. 11 until Nov. 19, at the latest, with the condition that sound barriers of some type are installed.

The commission also said that if the school board goes through with its plan, the commission already has approved plans for Ox Ridge School and Darien High School to install solar panels. They noted that most panels on the roofs would not be noticeable.

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