Parks and Rec votes to move garden for fields at Long Lots in Westport

WESTPORT — Community gardens will likely move, though not yet set.

Commission members David Floyd, Christine O’Keefe and Alec Stevens, the only ones present at the time of the vote, voted unanimously in favor of the “Concept C” design recently recommended by the building committee. The recommendation added the need to move the community gardens to a location that will be determined at a future commission meeting.

“It’s not about pitting one group against another group, but finding places for camp and gardens so that no one is eliminated,” Parks and Recreation Director Jennifer Fava said at the meeting of the commission on Monday.

Long Lots Building Committee Chairman Jay Keenan said the committee did not recommend that fields be built on the back of the property because of the topography changes. The location of the school was the guiding factor in his decision.

One of the places proposed for the garden is in the property of the South Baron, which is currently vacant. Another proposal is in the works to create affordable housing in abandoned buildings on the property.

Regardless of the plan, there will be about two years without fields in Long Lots due to construction.

Operations Manager Carmen Roda said it could cause off-season sports to have less playing time, and it could also affect in-season sports.

He compared it to when Coleytown Middle School will be closed in 2019 for a remediation project, which has caused its fields to be unusable. He called it “nothing short of a nightmare.”

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