WILTON — Representatives from the Norwalk River Valley Trail met with the Planning and Zoning Commission at its meeting on July 27 to bring members up to speed on the trail’s latest projects.

Antonio DiCamillo, an engineer with the NRVT, presented two segments in the works. One begins at the Norwalk/Wilton town line and runs just short of Kent Road, west of the railroad tracks. This segment includes a proposed gravel parking lot large enough for six cars off Chipmunk Lane. There would also be three boardwalk crossings over wetlands.

The second segment would start on Danbury Road at the commuter lot and run south along the lot, across an existing bridge. It would continue south ending just short of a quarry pond.

Chairman Richard Tomasetti raised concerns about the design structure of the parking lot that is proposed near Chipmunk Lane. In particular, he believes the trailheads are underdone. Commercial applicants seeking a parking lot, he said, would be held to a higher standard with requirements for wheel stops, plantings and signs.

Other concerns raised were that on rare occasions there have been situations involving teens partying in the areas of the existing parking lots at night. There has also been littering from people eating in the parking lots.

Charlie Taney, president of the Friends of the NRVT, said he has a close working relationship with a lieutenant at Wilton Police Department and is confident this is an infrequent occurrence.

“This has only happened twice in the four years that I have been a part of the Norwalk River Valley Trail,” he said.

This portion of the trail has been in the process for a few years and is being supported by a grant of $1.3 million from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection which must be used before the end of 2021.

In addition to the grant, there is a matching requirement that needs to be raised. With a goal of $275,000, $250,000 has been raised through private donations.

“I think that this trail is a wonderful asset to the community,” said Commissioner Christopher Pagliaro.

To the newer members of the commission, Taney explained the mission of the trail which is to run from Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk to Rogers Park in Danbury, a total of some 30 miles that also pass through Wilton, Ridgefield and Redding.

The stone-dust trail, which ranges from six to 10 feet wide is accessible to everyone. In 2018, the trail was voted the town’s top amenity by Wilton residents.

“It is great for moms with baby strollers, bikes for kids and adults, and even for those in wheelchairs will have accessibility to the trails,” said Taney.

Discussion on the trail’s new segments will continue at the commission’s September meeting. Taney said the goal for starting work would be in the spring of 2021.