The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

 

Grace Church

New Canaan church plan spurs local traffic concerns


By DON HEPPNER

Pound Ridge and Lewisboro residents living near Route 104 on the New Canaan border have been fighting the proposed construction of a 900-seat sanctuary by Grace Church in New Canaan for over four years.

They have lost the battle up to this point, but residents have two new allies — the towns of Pound Ridge and Lewisboro — whose efforts could help swing the tide of battle in their favor.

The issue is the increased traffic on narrow, winding roads in Pound Ridge and Lewisboro, which could imperil cyclists and walkers using those roads.

So far, the New Canaan planning commission has shown no concern for the roads or residents of Lewisboro and Pound Ridge, according to Pound Ridge Town Councilman Dick Lyman.

“If people are really not concerned about what they do to Pound Ridge or Lewisboro, just because they are in another state and they don’t have a legal obligation to be concerned, well then, we have to do what we have to do to protect our taxpayers,” said Mr. Lyman.

Mr. Lyman said that steps could be taken to limit traffic on Puddin Hill and Luke’s Wood Roads, but prohibiting commercial traffic was not considered a good option because landscapers and others providing services to Pound Ridge residents use the road and they have commercial vehicles.

Since Lewisboro would also be affected by the flow of an additional 400 or 500 cars each Sunday, Mr. Lyman said that Lewisboro and Pound Ridge could enact a municipal agreement that would make it difficult for construction vehicles and churchgoers to drive through the two towns on their way to or from services.

A sensible solution would be one that doesn’t burden the Pound Ridge police force or

those using the road on a regular basis to serve local residents, according to Mr. Lyman.

“There should be a way to satisfy all concerns,” he said. “It would be nice to accomplish this in a gentlemanly manor.”

The town of New Canaan could help by requiring a traffic pattern that would keep traffic on Connecticut roads.

“I don’t see that happening,” Mr. Lyman said. “In fact, I see just the opposite happening.”

Mr. Lyman said that if there was a stream of traffic on Luke’s Wood Road in Connecticut, the residents living on that street would go to their board of selectmen and say that the traffic on Luke’s Wood Road in New Canaan must be stopped, and that result would send the traffic to Pound Ridge and Lewisboro.

Mr. Lyman said that excessive use of the roads in Pound Ridge and Lewisboro would cause an increase in maintenance and expenses to keep the roads navigable.

“We could be stuck with doing a major upgrade to an intersection at a state road because of all this traffic,” said Mr. Lyman. “Why should our taxpayers be saddled with that financial burden?”

Mr. Lyman said that he was hopeful that New Canaan and Pound Ridge could work together to solve what he said would be a traffic crisis in Pound Ridge.

“When I attend the next meeting of the planning commission, I intend to address the members and express some of our concerns,” Mr. Lyman said. “I am going to let them know that I reached out informally to the church and I was rebuffed.”

Mr. Lyman said he wants to ask the commission how the church project would be staged if the roads in New York became unavailable to construction traffic. He said that would be a polite way of asking the commission members to listen to the needs of the New York State communities that would be impacted by the increased traffic.

He said that it is important for people to understand that the Pound Ridge town board’s complaint is not with zoning decisions made in Connecticut, but rather the church’s adverse impact on Pound Ridge and Lewisboro residents.

Mr. Lyman said he intends to attend the next New Canaan zoning meeting, which is on Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 7 p.m., at 144 Oenoke Ridge Road in the New Canaan Nature Center building.

“I think that there are solutions we can come up with if people get the idea that you won’t be pushed around,” Mr. Lyman said. “Right now, nobody wants to give any consideration to the towns of New York, and they are going to have to pay attention.”

A letter sent to New Canaan zoning chairman Laszio Papp by Pound Ridge Town Supervisor Gary Warshauer last month outlined the concerns of the town board.

The Oct. 10 letter stated the Pound Ridge Town Board’s objection to the location of the driveway of the proposed church project. The letter reiterated concerns first brought up when the matter was presented to the Pound Ridge Town Board by residents neighboring the project in 2007.

One objection was to the driveway being located on a side street, Puddin Hill Road, rather than the main road, Route 123. Puddin Hill Road could not handle the additional traffic of the proposed church, the letter stated. In addition, the town feared potential cut-through traffic onto West Road.

In his recent letter, Mr. Warshauer said he hopes that his concerns are enough to gain serious consideration from the church and New Canaan.

“I trust, however, that if you are compelled to route the traffic through our Pound Ridge roads,” Mr. Warshauer wrote in his letter to New Canaan’s Mr. Papp, “you will require, as a condition of approval, that the developer be held responsible for the design and cost of all improvements necessary to mitigate the environmental and safety impacts that this increased traffic will cause. The concerns raised in 2007 are still valid today.”


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November 16, 2012

‘Pops, Patriots and Fireworks’

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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The proposed 77,000-square-foot Grace Church in New Canaan, Conn.