Main Street B&B, drive-in bank, go to hearings
A bed and breakfast use proposed for a house dating back to the 1700s and renovation of a drive-in bank off Governor Street will be coming up for public scrutiny and comment.
Public hearings on the two proposals are expected to start a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting scheduled on Tuesday, Jan. 28, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall Annex off Prospect Street.
The Fountain Inn is proposed as a four-suite bed and breakfast at 114 Main St., an eight-room house built in 1740 and now owned by Douglas and Laurice Haynes.
“We recognize that Ridgefield is in need of accommodations for out-of-town guests, and we believe our historic home at the intersection of Route 35 and Main Street will be a valuable asset to the town,” the Haynes’ application says.
The property is in a residential zone, and is within Ridgefield’s Historic District.
“No changes need to be, or will be, made to the exterior,” the Haynes wrote in a narrative of their proposal. “The front door of our home will be used for guest entrance and will be accessible through a keypad lock …
“No interior changes will be made that would preclude our home functioning as a family home/residence in the future.”
The Haynes say that the property’s location “will enable our guests to walk downtown and enjoy local shops, entertainment, and restaurants.
“In addition, we are ideally located to provide lodging to prospective performers at the Playhouse, ACT and to patrons of the Keeler Tavern and Community Center for weddings and other special events,” they say.
A cover letter with the application notes that the property is “a stone’s throw from Bernard’s, a well-known gourmet restaurant, and Ridgefield’s only remaining inn, the West Lane Inn.”
The small bank building to be renovated is at 3 Governor Street, facing across the road to Veterans Park Elementary School.
It would be slightly expanded while being modernized, according to plans submitted to the town by Fairfield County Bank — which, the application notes, is also “known as Ridgefield Bank.”
The little structure has long served as a small auxiliary drive-up facility behind the bank’s main branch, which faces onto Main Street at the corner of Governor Street.
The application says that the building was constructed in 1960 “as a satellite to the main office at 374 Main Street” and featured “one of the first drive-through windows in Ridgefield.”
The main building in front and drive-up behind are both still in use by the bank.
Fairfield County Bank “is seeking approval to update the branch both aesthetically and functionally, including installing additional security features and bringing it into compliance with handicapped access standards,” the application says.
Information on both applications is available at the town land use office in the Town Hall Annex by Yanity Gym.