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Lawton Road Park Plan Gets the Go-Ahead

Canton Zoning Commission approves plan for fields, portion of Farmington River Trail but funding not yet in place.

The Canton Zoning Commission has unanimously approved a park plan for town-owned property at 55 Lawton Road.

The plan calls for a full-size playing field, a smaller practice/playing field, parking for approximately 90 vehicles and a 1,200 linear foot portion of the Farmington River Trail.

The fields would be used primarily for youth sports, said Parks and Recreation Director Brian Wilson. 

The project would cover approximately six and half acres of the 17-acre property.

Officials said the field would be graded in a way that minimizes neighborhood visibility.

The stone wall along the road will remain and be repaired using stones from another on the property, Wilson said.

Last year, the Parks and Recreation Commission decided to move forward with the plan and held an informational meeting with neighbors.

In December, the Board of Selectmen also voted to bring it through the town's land-use process but asked project consultant Phil Doyle of Landscape Architectural Design Associates to add parking lot lighting and irrigation to the plan.

With those additions, the estimated cost for the field portion is approximately $910,000 and the trail $339,174.

The town has had little discussion on overall funding options but is already exploring grant opportunities for the trail portion.

On Thursday, First Selectman Richard Barlow said there is no funding in the proposed 2013-2014 budget and that selectmen had not really delved into funding discussions. Wednesday’s Zoning Commission approval gives the town a 5-year approval to move forward with the plan. The Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency has also approved the plan but did ask the town to come back with a phasing plan if the project ends up being done in stages. 

Betty February 22, 2013 at 09:27 PM
John, It would be great if the town could get grant money. Do you know how many more fields, courts, or playscapes the town still needs? Have any locations been identified? I heard we needed 19 more but not sure if these were included in the 19. It would be great to see a story on the subject.

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