Tag Archives: Compo Road South

Minuteman, Spare That Tree!

It’s one of Westport’s most iconic views: The Minute Man monument.

Yet just as impressive as the 1910 statue is the magnificent red oak tree behind, at the corner of  South Compo and Compo Beach Read. It frames every photo. It adds permanence to that historic spot. It’s as beautiful as New England gets.

The tree stands on town-owned property — long a buffer against development. But that doesn’t mean it’s safe from private property harm. Part of the tree makes contact with private property, so ownership is considered “shared.”

The Minute Man Monument, with the magnificent red oak behind

Spec builders — Simple Plan One LLC — hope to develop a home at 280 Compo Road South. The project is moving through various town departments.

The plan does not include removal of the tree. But it could very likely cause the tree to die within a couple of years due to nearby root cutting and root compaction, along with changes to the topography after regrading.

A major threat to the tree is the proposed moving of a WPA-era drainpipe (which has a permanent easement), to make room for the new house. The developer has asked permission to redirect the pipe, expanding the building envelope — thus allowing a significantly larger home to rise on the site.

Moving the pipe appears to run a very real risk of damaging the red oak’s root system.

The tree would not die immediately, if damaged. Its demise could take a year or two.

But it would sure not last the 800 years or so that similar trees, in robust, healthy condition, could live for.

This one is more than 100 years old. It’s still a child.

The Minute Man Monument, around the time of the 1910 dedication. The very young tree can be seen in the background.

Another worry involves construction of a new driveway across the town-owned property onto Compo Beach Road. That would provide a 2nd driveway, in addition to the one the property has long had on South Compo.

(The driveway is now at the easternmost edge of the property — down the road, away from the Minute Man. The new driveway on South Compo would be closer to the monument.)

Neighbors worry that the 2nd driveway, with parking and a garage — passing over town-owned property — also runs a very real risk of encroaching on, and damaging, the tree’s roots.

The reason for the garage there? It’s to insulate the living areas of the home from traffic noise on Compo Beach Road.

One more view.

According to tree warden Bruce Lindsay, the “stately red oak … is in excellent health.” He hopes that it “is not harmed, (and that) proper tree protection systems are put into place to maintain the tree’s health and structure outside the Critical Root Zone, (and) beyond the scope of the work.”

The Flood and Erosion Control Board approved the project on May 1. Since then, it appears that a number of changes have been made to the plans. The tree was not part of that board’s discussion, as it was not a known issue at the time.

The Conservation Commission met on May 15. They held the matter open until a special meeting — set for June 10 — to allow neighbors’ consultants time to review the proposal. Click here for a video of the commission’s May meeting.

The developer hopes to get on the Planning & Zoning Commission agenda this month or next.

Will officials permit the taking of town property for an additional entrance? Will they green-light proposed work that runs a substantial risk of harming a historic, stately town-owned tree?

All of this does not even touch the question of what new, large construction would mean to the streetscape view of the Minute Man Monument, at that iconic corner.

Stay tuned.

The Minute Man himself may not be able to fight.

But concerned Westporters can.

Alert: Monday Morning Commute To Train Station, I-95 May Be Messy

The Westport Police Department says:

Due to electrical grid damage from Friday’s storm, and continuing repairs, it is anticipated that the intersection of Greens Farms Road/Bridge Street at Compo Road South may remain closed to traffic at least through the morning commute tomorrow (Monday, March 5).

No traffic will be allowed through the intersection of Greens Farms Road at Compo Road South.

Road closures will be in place at Bridge Street at Imperial Avenue, Compo Road South at Keyser Road, Greens Farms Road at Hillspoint Road, and Compo Road South at Elaine Road. Any destinations within this area will be accessible only to local traffic; all other traffic should must use detours.

Drivers traveling from all points south of the I-95 overpass on Compo Road South should follow Compo Road South to Hillspoint Road north to the intersection of Greens Farms Road. From this point, traffic will be routed either east on Greens Farms Road and/or north on Hillspoint Road.

Drivers traveling west on Greens Farms Road will be detoured north at the intersection of Greens Farms Road and Hillspoint Road toward Post Road East.

No westbound traffic will be allowed on to Greens Farms Road from the Sherwood Island Connector. This area will be accessible to local traffic only. All other traffic will be diverted north on the Sherwood Island Connector towards Post Road East.

Compo Road South will be completely closed to southbound traffic at the intersection with Keyser Road.

All southbound traffic on Imperial Avenue will be diverted west on Bridge Street. All eastbound traffic on Bridge Street will be diverted north on to Imperial Avenue.

The work may continue into Monday evening.

 

3.454M

In a town filled with random, seldom-observed signs — “No Right Turn”; “Speed Limit 25 MPH”; “”1 Hour Parking, Violators Will Be Towed” — it takes a lot to stand out.

This one did.

Spotted by alert “06880” reader JP Vellotti on South Compo Road, near the railroad underpass headed toward town, it raised a host of questions.

3.454 meters is not 11’8″, JP notes. It’s just under 11’4.” So that’s not what it means.

It make take 3.454 seconds to go from the sign to the bridge, but JP figures that’s not it either.

Perhaps it’s left over from a recent road race — or jUNe Day?

If you know what this random — yet very precise — sign means, click “Comments” below.