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Weston Residents Offer Ideas for Using Lachat Land

WESTON, Conn. – A dog park, community farming, a sledding hill and a space for community gathering are just some of the ideas Weston residents have come up with for the Lachat property on Godfrey Road.

Many ideas have been floating around about what should be done with the property, which was signed over to the town and the Nature Conservancy in 1997 by Leon Lachat. Last month, the Board of Selectmen chose to first listen to the community before creating a committee on the matter. Proposals can be sent to the selectmen, who hope to discuss all the ideas before their April 5 meeting.

“This needs to be a community conversation and I think that’s something the three of us feel strongly about,” First Selectman Gayle Weinstein said during a recent board meeting.

According to the proposals, many residents said they would like to see the land used for its original intent of farming.

“I would like to see a community garden with individual plots for those of us who don’t have any sun on our property or perhaps a town farm,” Westonite Melanie Wyler said in an email. “Keep it rural! I DON’T want to see playgrounds, ball fields or any significant building.”

Candace Chase told the selectmen she believed a community garden would be “keeping in the spirit of the farm.”

“Although backyard gardening is very popular right [now], I believe community gardens are timeless. This is the right use for land that was originally farmland and was bequeathed to the town with the understanding that it might remain so,” Chase wrote.

Several residents said they would like to see some of the property used for a dog park, especially because Trout Brook Valley has put a temporary ban on dogs running free at the preserve while a wildlife study is conducted.

“Many of us have been upset about the current denial of dog off-leash hiking. … My family has viewed Trout Brook Valley as a place to spend an hour or two exercising with our dogs and meeting up with families from Weston and surrounding towns,” Chase wrote.

Chase said she now takes her dogs out of town to spend quality time outdoors with them.

“Wouldn't it be nice if we all could spend that time right here in Weston at the Lachat property?” she wrote.

Ideas can be submitted to the first selectman’s office, 56 Norfield Road, or via email to Judy DeVito at . For more information, call 203-222-2656.

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