The New England Chapter of the Congress for New Urbanism, a largely professional group formed to improve commercial redevelopment of cities and towns, is holding an “open house and happy hour” at The Goose in Darien on Friday. The free event takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 5, in a reserved room at the restaurant and is open to anyone who RSVPs the organization. Contact Lejla Skokic at email@example.com. The “open house and happy hour” is one of several the organization’s New England chapter is hosting across the six-state region.
Some of the support for the massive downtown Darien redevelopment proposal between Corbin Drive, the Post Road and the highway is coming from businesspeople who worry that the downtown businesses district, for whatever reason, may be losing its competitive edge. Whether it’s retail shopping now going on over the Internet or business going to downtown shops in other towns, some business owners told the Planning & Zoning Commission that they’re worried. The P&Z held a public hearing Tuesday on the zoning changes wanted by Baywater Corbin LLC, a partnership of the owners of Baywater Properties and RG Properties. Although the hearing was specifically about particular zoning changes being proposed for the site, the P&Z after a while seemed to give up on the idea of holding speakers to the topic at hand and let them speak in more general terms about their support for the proposed redevelopment. Baywater Corbin launched an effort to get supporters of its proposal to the P&Z hearing, with advertising and emails, and interns from Baywater Properties even handed out blue baseball caps with the logo from the Baywater website, YourDowntownDarien.com, for attendees to show their support.