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Letter: Association voices concerns over possible Silver Hill expansion

Published 11:50 am, Friday, September 6, 2013
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I am a resident of Valley Road and newly elected president of the Silvermine River Neighborhood Association, Inc.

The association's mission is to promote the interests of the residents of the Silvermine River areas of the towns of New Canaan and Wilton by advocating for the overall safety, beauty and resources of the Silvermine River neighborhood and surrounding areas.

To this end, our immediate concern is Silver Hill Hospital's recent acquisition of two residential properties at 225 and 134 Valley Road. It should be noted that we support the good work of the hospital. Some of our members have supported it financially, and other member's families have directly benefitted from the services it provides. That said, we have tried individually and collectively to meet with the hospital on numerous occasions regarding our concerns in an effort to improve the relationship and communication between the hospital and its immediate neighbors.

Those attempts have been fruitless and the majority of our concerns are not being addressed or even considered.

The fact is the hospital is not being a good or even considerate neighbor by its actions, and the 225 Valley Road application is a clear example of showing no regard for the neighborhood. Simply stated, they think it is fine to put patients in early recovery in immediate proximity to private residents and their families. We think they should be housed elsewhere on the extensive 42-acre campus.

We also have concerns regarding security, signage, their septic systems and the potential impact on the Silvermine River, and the long-term intentions for the neighborhood and their campus. We want to be good neighbors, and can and would support a sensible and respectful plan for their operations going forward.

They have chosen to ignore us and let the Planning & Zoning Commission decide their fate. We consider this an unfortunate course of action and are simply using any and all means to protect our interests in our homes, our families and our larger neighborhood.

The best course of action is for Silver Hill to withdraw its pending application and begin an open process with us and the town to develop a long-term master plan. So far, they have rejected that idea, publicly and privately. A denial without prejudice of the 225 Valley Road is the only remaining reasonable course of action for all concerned.

Scott Hazard, president

Silvermine River Neighborhood Association, Inc.