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Spring Zoning, Building Permits Hold Steady From 2010

The Darien Planning & Zoning Department issued 152 permits last quarter, compared to 155 the year before.

The number of zoning and building permits issued in Darien over the past quarter was about even with 2010, according to figures released last week by the town.

From April 1 to June 30, the signed off of 152 permits, down a hair from the 155 issued during the same period last year.

Zoning permits are required for projects ranging from a building an extension to installing a swimming pool, finishing an attic, or adding a tennis court.

Permits for residential alterations topped the list at 46; remodeling and/or renovations, 31; adding a pool or spa, 11; and building an accessory structure, 11. Another twelve categories accounted for the remaining 53 permits.   

"Last quarter was fairly typical. June is usually one of our busier months," P&Z director Jeremy Ginsberg said Friday.

There is a direct correlation between the number of people applying to P&Z for a permit and the health of the economy, Ginsberg said.

"This time of year people are doing certain types of work, but not doing other types of work," Ginsberg said. "For example, you see very little work on installation of pools in winter. You see most pool installations are in early spring. ... By June, if you have not started the permitting process, you are not swimming that year."

By the early summer, the department typically sees an influx of people seeking a permit to add air conditioning units at their homes.  

"Those do not need building permits, but they do need electrical permits from the and locational approval from the Planning and Zoning office," Ginsberg said. "It is important for people to know that those air conditioning units need to meet setbacks and building coverage requirements."

Among the more notable projects approved by the P&Z commission in the past quarter: the redevelopment of the former Stolfi-Fairfield building site (1292 Post Rd.), the opening of Italian restaurant Cesco Trattoria at Goodwives Shopping Center, and outdoor dining at Planet Pizza (882 Post Rd.) and Burgers, Shakes & Fries (800 Post Rd.).

Meanwhile, the town's Building Department issued 57 permits from April 1 to June 30, a slight increase from the 55 permits it issued during the same period last year.

But the total cost building projects came in at $63,539,000, a decline of nearly 14 percent from the tally of $73,690,475 during the same period last year.

Major ongoing building projects include the expansion and renovation of the , the construction of a new gymnastics facility, and the construction new location for MINI of Fairfield County.

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