Origins of SCA
The Save Cranbury Association was established by your neighbors to fight back against the over development of land in our area. We understand that no one can completely stop development. Our goal is to promote smart growth that replaces greed, over development and the continued depletion of our open spaces.
White Barn Theater and Property is threatened by over development.
This 18 acre estate, located at the corner of Cranbury Road and Newtown Avenue was owned by the late actress Lucille Lortel. She bequeathed the property to her theater foundation whose trustees now propose to build a cluster home development and possibly a school on this site. The many who were graced to have known Miss Lortel, know that this would never have been her intent.
The property is not just home to the White Barn Theater and Museum but is also a vital sanctuary to much of our areas wildlife. The property includes a section of Stony Brook, a pond, a meadow and wetlands. The proposed development would subdivide the land into asphalt-bordered sections, destroying the property and severely impacting both the wild life habitat and the water supply. The overall health of the wetlands, ponds and streams that bisect the White Barn property would be in jeopardy. Most significantly, the removal of these water sources and wild life habitats from the ecosystem in this part of Norwalk could damage area residents wells by impacting the natural re-supplying of bedrock aquifers scattered throughout the area.
Our Goal as an organization is to prevent the destruction of this land. Additionally, as our mission statement cites, our association is broader-based than just this one issue.
Just a half mile away on Newtown Turnpike, the 56 acre Partrick Wetlands are also threatened with over development. In a new form of regional cooperation, we are working with our Westport neighbors, the Partrick Wetlands Preservation Fund, to prevent this from occurring.
The Cranbury neighborhoods character is in jeopardy. We are greatly concerned about increased traffic, cluster housing, loss of open space, increased taxes and all the safety issues that come with sprawl, urbanization and over development. The time has come to fight back. For more information on the threats to our community, click here.
Developers and attorneys are proposing to develop 13 to 23 new cluster houses and possibly a 5,000 square foot school/cultural center in our neighborhood on the 18-acre site of the White Barn Theatre. Additionally, there have been threats to even raze the historic theater to enable maximization of their development plans.
The new housing will destroy the beautiful property surrounding the White Barn, significantly impacting the large amount of water and wetlands on the property. Additionally, a significant aquifer lies beneath the property and there are several other environmental factors that are negatively affected.
Lucille Lortel preserved this open space, one of the last and largest in Norwalk, for the citizens of this area for over 50 years. The Save Cranbury Association is dedicated to continuing that legacy.
The so-called cultural center is actually an acting school that will operate most of the year. As of now, the proposal no longer includes the school but if they go forward with it, the operation of the school may add as many as 150 cars an hour onto Newtown Avenue and surrounding roads from 3 to 8 PM, Monday thru Friday.
When the cultural center is not in use as a school, it will be managed by the City of Norwalk as a park. This land will be added to our tax roles. We will pay for what attorneys, in favor of the development, term just a parking lot."
For more information on the White Barn, click here.
The White Barn proposal is in no way the only threat slated for our area. The Partrick Wetlands just down the road in Westport has 22 more houses proposed and a sewer extension to enable it. Cottonwood Chase also on Newtown has 5 more coming. In all these already proposed projects will add over forty houses and possibly a school to our neighborhood within a one mile radius of the White Barn property. Additionally, the 5 partially developed acres adjacent to the White Barn property on Cranbury road are up for sale with the potential of 4 more houses in addition to the 3 that are already there.
The sewer line extension, needed primarily to serve the Partrick development, is a critical issue that must also be addressed. It is unnecessary and will only facilitate further sprawl, increased traffic, densification and out-of-character housing and another increase in our already rising taxes. More information on the sewer click here.
Mayor Alex Knopp, hearing the calls of alarm from the Cranbury neighborhood and our Association, set up a 5 member Cranbury Task Force. Their goal is to review the need for the sewer, review the Master Plan and investigate the impacts of urbanization and cross border developments in the region. We applaud this move and look forward to all citizens coming out and attending these meetings and voicing their concerns. (Notice of the meetings will be posted on this site).
Please join or support our team to ensure that we control decisions that affect our property values and our quality of life.
Issues include: increased traffic, safety concerns, noise, septic system/water table impact, pollution and destruction of environmentally sensitive wetlands areas and wildlife habitats.