By Genevieve Reilly

Staff Writer

The Fairfield Parks and Recreation Commission aced its presentation to the Town Planning and Zoning Commission for new teen and tennis facilities.

After reviewing the $2 million project at a public hearing earlier this month, the TPZ voted unanimously Tuesday to approve plans for the facility on Old Dam Road.

The existing 9,696-square-foot building, which houses the Beanery teen center and tennis offices, will be demolished and replaced with a 16,284-square-foot facility. The bulk of the construction costs will be borne by the Fairfield Indoor Tennis Center, which operates the tennis courts during winter months when they are enclosed by an inflatable bubble.

"This is an area in town which really does need to be done," said Commissioner Richard Jacobs. "This is a wonderful new facility" and one that is environmentally progressive in regards to the rain gardens that will be used to collect water runoff.

"I'm hoping as this goes forward we will actually see the result," he said, and possibly bring the use of rain gardens into future zoning regulations.

Commissioner Seth Baratz said he agreed completely. "It's going to reduce the impervious surfaces," he said, while the building itself will allow the Recreation Department to house programs there that currently take place in conference room space in Recreation Department on Mill Plain Road.

"It's a much needed site improvement," Baratz said.

The plans call for the elimination of a practice putting green on the property, but Bryan LeClerc, the TPZ chairman, pointed out that a new putting green has been built across the street at the Carl Dickman Par 3 course that is almost ready to be used.