The What: This Week in Southwest Connecticut

The What is your look around southwest Connecticut for the week of January 17.

The What: This Week in Southwest Connecticut

Tuesday, January 17

Happy Tuesday! This week, we dove into the importance of trees in our region and explored how some communities are trying to increase their tree canopy, particularly in urban areas.

“Trees are key to a healthy city,” according to a 2018 report on the tree canopy in the Western Connecticut Region from WestCOG, a regional planning association.

That’s why communities across southwest Connecticut are investing time, resources, and effort into improving their tree canopies, maintaining existing trees, and working to add to their tree inventories.

“Trees have become a movement,” said Norwalk Councilman Tom Livingston at an October 2021 meeting.

A look at some newly planted trees in Woodward Park in South Norwalk. Photo by Kelly Prinz.

In our region, Norwalk passed a tree ordinance that helps enhance the city’s planting of new trees and protections for existing ones. The Stamford Board of Representatives approved a resolution calling on the mayor to add funding for tree-related efforts to her budget this year. And Fairfield is in the middle of updating its forestry management plan to continue to expand its tree efforts.

But even more support is likely needed. According to the 2018 WestCOG study, many areas of southwest Connecticut are severely lacking in their tree coverage. Norwalk in particular was called out for having the least amount of tree canopy in all of the WestCOG region, which includes 18 communities in Western Connecticut.

Learn more about how trees impact southwest Connecticut.

You can also check out a quick look at what some communities are doing related to trees: Stamford | Norwalk | Fairfield

A look at how communities across southwest Connecticut are investing in trees.

Let’s see what else is happening this week.


About 150 properties in Stamford will be getting city sewers, and this week residents get their first look at the new plans. The plans have been years in the making, but residents helped move the process along last year, gathering more than ⅔ of the neighborhood’s support for the first phase of the project. Many of the homes in this area had failing septic systems, and due to the small lot sizes, homeowners were unable to replace them. This infrastructure investment will benefit more than just the residents getting sewers, as their homes back up to the Rippowam River—which drains into the Long Island Sound—and the failing septic tanks were creating environmental water quality issues there.

Residents are invited to a public meeting from the Water Pollution Control Authority—Perna Lane Phase 1 Update on Thursday, January 19 at 7 p.m.

Learn more.

The State and Commerce of the Board of Representatives will meet on Wednesday, January 18 at 7 p.m. to discuss and potentially take action on a resolution that calls on Governor Ned Lamont and the state legislature to permanently eliminate local bus fares.

Other meetings this week include:


The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission will meet on Wednesday, January 18 at 6 p.m. and review the plans for the Norwalk High School and P-Tech campus. The meeting will also include a public hearing on plans to build a four-story, 136-unit mixed use building at Westport Avenue and Renzulli Road.

Other meetings this week include:


The Board of Education will meet on Tuesday, January 17 at 7:30 p.m. to discuss the Superintendent’s 2023-2024 budget request.

Other meetings this week include:


The town’s Public Works department is hosting a special meeting on the Brothers Brook Drainage Area Project on Thursday, January 19 at 5 p.m. After Greenwich was hit by Tropical Storm Ida in 2021, the department began reviewing areas in the town that flooded to come up with ideas and proposals to “reduce the impacts of future storms.” This meeting will include an update on the study, some preliminary alternatives that are being explored, and an overview of possible next steps.

Other meetings this week include:


Next year’s school district budget is at the heart of two meetings this week. The Representative Town Meeting–Education Committee met last night, on Monday, January 16 to discuss the superintendent’s 2023-24 operating budget and the 2023-24 capital budget. On Tuesday, January 17 at 7 p.m., the Board of Education will review comments from  the Board of Finance and RTM Education and Finance and Budget Committees on the proposed budget.

Other meetings this week include:


The Representative Town Meeting is hosting a special meeting on Tuesday, January 17 starting at 6:30 p.m. to review the Planning and Zoning Commission's decision.

The commission approved changes to its zoning regulations and map for multiple properties along Railroad Place, Riverside Avenue, Franklin Street, and Charles Street. The changes moved the properties to the “General Business District/Saugatuck Marina” zone. According to the application, “the purpose of the GBD/SM Zone would be to encourage a mix of residential development including commercial, office, hotel and retail.” Supporters of the rezoning said that it would allow for properties in the area to be developed to enhance the area and its aesthetics, provide more pedestrian access, and allow for more recreational water-related uses and views. However, opponents of the rezoning raised concerns about density, traffic, and other issues with allowing more development in the area.

The approval was appealed to the Representative Town Meeting, so now that the body’s committees have reviewed the items, the full RTM will review, discuss, and vote on the appeal. In addition to the January 17 meeting, the Representative Town Meeting has an additional meeting scheduled to discuss this item on Thursday, January 19 at 6:30 p.m

Other meetings this week include:

Please note: All of these agendas and information here are current as of Sunday night. Meeting times and agendas may get adjusted throughout the week.

Thank you for reading!

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Have a great week,

Kelly Prinz

Founder, Reporter at Coastal Connecticut Times