Greens Farms Church. / Photos by Thane Grauel
Greens Farms Church / Photos by Thane Grauel

By Thane Grauel

WESTPORT — Greens Farms Church is seeking to replace its outdoor play area and create a half basketball court for its nursery school and teen program.

An application has been filed with the Zoning Board of Appeals. It seeks permission to remove the old play structures and a storage shed outside the church at 71 Hillandale Road. The church seeks to “install a new more environmentally friendly playground” and “reorganize the parking in the small lot to include a high school ½ basketball court.”

There will be no change in the number of parking spots, the application states, remaining at 92.

The application was filed by Richard Benson, a church trustee and owner of R.B. Benson & Company.

The church will need variances for structures in setbacks and coverage in a residential district.

It lists several hardships.

“Historic non-conforming use since 1789 in a Res A neighborhood; irregular lot shape; children’s safety will be enhanced; pre-existing building coverage and total coverage will be reduced and structures in the setbacks will be reduced — making the site less non-concorming,” the application reads.

“The proposed project is to remove most of the existing playground structures, especially those that had been in the setbacks, and install a new more eco-friendly playground,” Benson wrote in a letter to the board.

Parking area and storage shed.
Parking area and storage shed.

“A second part of the project is to expand the play area for our teens program by removing the existing shed and reorganizing the 17 parking spaces in the small church lot,” he continued. “This will allow room for a teen-sized ½ court basketball feature, a fire pit, and adjacent seating. New fencing will be installed around the new playground and the new basketball court.”

Thane Grauel grew up in Westport and has been a journalist in Fairfield County and beyond for 36 years. Reach him at editor@westportjournal.com. Learn more about us here.