Wilton selectmen move on architectural review board
The following items were discussed and voted on at the June 17 meeting of the Board of Selectmen.
Architectural Review Board proposal
Scott Lawrence, chairman, and Rick Tomasetti, vice chairman, of the Planning and Zoning Commission explained that P&Z and the Village District Design Advisory Committee (VDDAC) have been working on the possibility of establishing an Architectural Review Board (ARB) for Wilton.
An ARB advises town officials as to the adequacy and appropriateness of architectural plans for new commercial and other buildings as well as exterior alterations. The ultimate goal is better project designs to ensure a site plan and arrangement of facilities are in harmony with the adjoining uses of land in the design area.
Lawrence said the town needs an ARB in order to improve the application process, set expectations early on, and reduce costs. Other towns with ARBs include Westport, Ridgefield and Darien.
“At this stage, for where Wilton is potentially going with all the master planning that needs to occur — for the possibility of redevelopment in key places — where you gotta get it right the first time — you don’t want the applicant, the commission, and the public to be on different pages,” Lawrence said.
When there is an application and expectations are not met, “you are forcing a re-application,” which is not an efficient use of everyone’s time, he said.
He said an ARB, properly administered, can “really fix a lot of stuff early on.”
Tomasetti, an architect, said not every applicant is looking to do something beneficial for the community at large, and an ARB could provide a better outcome and do a better job preserving historical assets for properties such as those on Route 7.
The town’s Planning and Zoning Commission and Village District Design Advisory Committee are currently doing architectural review for the town, but both boards believe an ARB would add another layer of significant review.
The board voted to agree in concept to the creation of an Architectural Review Board. The next step will be a public hearing to assessing the viability of an ARB and scoping and refining the regulation based on public feedback.
Police building project
The board authorized First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice to enter into two contracts for the police building project:
- $11,000 for a contract with Welti Geotechnical for soil testing on the town campus to determine the need for foundations, viability for buildings, and analysis of the results.
- $11,800 for a contract with Ryan and Faulds surveyors for an updated town campus survey.
The board approved the following gifts:
- $1,800 from Lynne and Paul Vanderslice and $150 from Wilton Kiwanis Foundation for the Summer Concert Series.
- $50 from Ellen J. Raleigh for Wilton CERT.
The board voted to dissolve the Board of Finance Survey Subcommittee which completed its task to prepare and implement a residential survey.