Public hearing on turf field project, Jan. 22

The Inland Wetlands Commission will hold a public hearing on Thursday, Jan. 22, regarding an application for a regulated activity permit for a $1.2 million renovation of Middlebrook’s field by Wilton Youth Football, the Wilton Lacrosse Association and Wilton Youth Field Hockey.

The project would involve removing the field’s current natural grass and replacing it with low-maintenance, artificial turf, and also installing a seating area in the parking lot side of the field.

According to Gregory and Adams attorney Casey Healy, legal counsel for the youth sports associations, 1,048 students use the field — including youth football, lacrosse and field hockey players, as well as Middlebrook students during physical education classes.

The youth sports associations have offered to renovate the field — including putting down the turf — and raise the necessary funds, estimated at $1,218,500.

The Inland Wetlands Commission last discussed the associations’ application at its Dec. 11 meeting, during which the more than $23,000 application fee for the project was discussed.

The commission figured the permit application fee based on the area of disturbance needed for the management of storm water and areas within the regulated buffer.

According to the commission, the turf field project carries some unique circumstances, which distinguish it from other projects — the area of disturbance is largely driven by the removal of sod and its replacement, the area is outside of the regulated area, and the project is a public-private partnership with the town.

Storm water management is expected to be the main focus of the public hearing, which will take place at 7:30 p.m., in Room A of the town hall annex.

Next steps

If the youth sports associations receive the regulated activity permit from the commission, the next step would be to seek a special permit from the Planning & Zoning Commission.

Upon receipt of both approvals, and after satisfying any conditions of approval imposed by the commissions, a zoning permit from Planning & Zoning and a building permit from the Building Department would have to be issued before any construction could begin, which, Mr. Healy said, would ideally begin the summer of 2016.