Barton House Fate Lies With Zoning

The decision on plans to de­molish the Barton House for a medical office building lies in the hands of New Milford’s Zoning Commission. The panel closed a public hearing on the proposal Tues­day, but not before opponents made one last stab at saving the building at 34 East St.

Local attorney Harry Cohen called the idea of tearing done the former Bed & Breakfast, once a pre-school, “atrocious.” He told zoners it was their duty to preserve the town’s quality of life and that in­cludes preservation of a “beautiful historic building.”

Paul Szymanski, an engineer representing the developer, said they have offered to give the building away for $1 and are in discussions with a possi­ble buyer. He said the architect had attempted to maintain the character of the Barton House in the design of the proposed building, and moved parking to the rear to maintain the residential character.

Mr. Szymanski said the pro­fessional traffic study shows traffic conditions would not deteriorate and noted Zoning’s own consultants agree the project meets regulations and improves what exists now.

Rob Burkhart, president of the New Milford Trust for Historic Preservation, reiterated concerns about traffic and said the proposed 16,000-square-foot three-story building was “out of place, out of scale” with the neighborhood. He said the Trust gathered 326 signatures at last weekend’s Village Fair to save the Barton House, with 40 from those out of town, although, some were former residents.

By Lynda Wellman – New Milford Spectrum

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