Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Tennis and Trees!


Residents Make Their Voices Heard

Latest Update from the Town of Stratford:

“The Public Hearing for the tree removals as part of the Longbrook Park tennis court project is being postponed to be held at a more accommodating time for the community. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused, but we will be in touch in the coming days with the revised time once it is confirmed.”

“Somewhere between the zealotry of the ‘Halt all development now before another tree is lost!’ crowd and the zealotry of the ‘It’s just a stupid tree’ crowd lies a reasonable approach that rejects the false choice between trees and homes, and businesses.”  Strong Towns

The Stratford Crier approach is not single minded. It’s responsive to the nuance and complexity of cities and community life. It’s cooperative among different priorities. Every voice, especially yours, adds a valuable perspective on how to build a financially resilient, prosperous future, protect our environment and increase economic development by protecting our town’s history and culture.

Our goal is to reach 500 signatures, to date we have 394 people who are supporting a thoughtful and environmentally conscious plan by the Town of Stratford.  To read and sign our petition go to:  https://chng.it/VrNsFtzKmC

A supporter of our initiative was patient enough to not only scroll though commission minutes, but watch videos of meetings discussing the Longbrook Park tennis court proposal and develop a timeline:

Longbrook Park Tennis Courts – Timeline in the public record of Commissions/Council

Minutes: Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, December 3, 2020 https://stratfordct.gov/filestorage/39832/42634/43817/44433/112811/Dec_3_PRC_minutes.pdf Question is asked whether the tennis courts at Longbrook Park will be repaired.

Minutes: Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, January 7, 2021 https://stratfordct.gov/filestorage/39832/42634/43817/44433/122544/Jan_7_PRC_minutes.pdf Report of the Parks Superintendent includes “Post Tension Tennis Courts at Longbrook Park – Engineers are working on plans, the least obtrusive of which has the two courts remaining where  they are and on the side where the clubhouse is, with all courts having a north – south orientation.”

Minutes: Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, February 4, 2021 https://stratfordct.gov/filestorage/39832/42634/43817/44433/122544/Feb_4_PRC_mtg_minutes. pdf

Report of the Parks Superintendent includes “Post Tension Tennis Courts at Longbrook Park – awaiting information from architect and engineers for design”

Minutes: Longbrook Park Commission meeting, March 3, 2021 https://www.stratfordct.gov/filestorage/39832/42634/43811/44385/123102/2021-03- 03_longbrook-Min.pdf

“Longbrook Park Tennis Courts – Mr. Esposito reported. Three draft plans for Tennis Court upgrade/renovations were forwarded to Commissioners prior to the meeting. The preliminary plans indicate the least impact to the area such as tree removal. 4 tennis courts are proposed for the area. The plans will again be reviewed. Plan option #1 fits the criteria best for least impact to area.”

Minutes: Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, March 4, 2021 https://stratfordct.gov/filestorage/39832/42634/43817/44433/122544/Mar_4_PRC_mtg_minutes. pdf

A motion was made and passed “to forward Longbrook Tennis Courts Option #1 to the Town Council with a favorable recommendation, with the project proceeding based on available appropriations.”

Minutes: Parks and Recreation Commision meeting, May 6, 2021 https://www.stratfordct.gov/filestorage/39832/42634/43817/44433/122544/May_6_PRC_minute s.pdf

Report of the Parks Superintendent includes “…engineers are doing a final review of the Longbrook tennis courts, which Mr. Esposito will present to the PRC prior to going out to bid.”

Minutes: Longbrook Park Commission meeting, June 2, 2021 https://www.stratfordct.gov/filestorage/39832/42634/43811/44385/123102/2021-06- 02_longbrook-Min.pdf

“Tennis Courts – Mr. Esposito reviewed the project site vicinity map and plan timeline. Mr. Perillo inquired about lighting: have bases for lighting set up so as to add lighting in the future. Project plans to be approved by Longbrook Park Commission and Parks and Recreation Committee.”

Minutes: Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, June 3, 2021 https://stratfordct.gov/filestorage/39832/42634/43817/44433/122544/June_3_PRC_minutes.pdf

Report of the Parks Superintendent includes “Longbrook Tennis Courts — The base bid will include four post tension concrete courts, as well as new black perimeter fencing…Some trees will be removed, but far less than would have been if a different court orientation were chosen…An 8-24 Review Application must be submitted and approved through the Planning & Zoning Commission, and then the Town Council.”

Minutes: Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, September 2, 2021 https://www.stratfordct.gov/filestorage/39832/42634/43817/44433/122544/Sept_2_PRC_Minute s.pdf

Report of the Parks Superintendent includes “The bids are in for the Longbrook tennis courts.”

Minutes: Planning Commission meeting, September 21, 2021


Longbrook Tennis Courts: “Attorney Jackson stated the definition of an 8-24 Review, and explained that the work at Longbrook Park tennis courts is not defined as a “substantial change to the park” but is rather just a change to one part of Longbrook Park. Mr. Gerics stated that he feels the changes to the tennis courts are significant. Ms. Attota stated that it cannot be added to the agenda, as per the Town Attorney, it does not warrant an 8-24 Review. Mr. Gerics questioned how Attorney Jackson’s opinion can be challenged. Per Attorney Jackson, it can be sent to the Town Council. Ms. Attota reminded members that the Planning Commission is part of the entire Town. The Town Council ultimately chooses whether it can be sent to the Planning Commission, and suggested discussing the matter with Parks Dept. Mr. Staley stated that it will be Stratford High School’s home court, but feels the process should be done correctly. Mr. Watson noted that Town Council members are not planning experts. Per Mr. Boyd, the Planning Commission was not aware of the plans until after the 35-day window closed. Mr. Watson accepted a motion by Mr. Gerics to suggest the Town Council re-visit the Longbrook Tennis Courts plans. Mr. Boyd seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.”

Minutes: Longbrook Park Commission meeting, October 6, 2021 https://www.stratfordct.gov/filestorage/39832/42634/43811/44385/123102/2021-10- 06_longbrook-Min.pdf

“Current status of Longbrook Park tennis courts: All bids so far have been over budget of 750,000 – therefore non accepted. Updated plan includes removal of 7 mature trees or more which was not included in original presentation to Longbrook Park Commission. Commission is following up for need of 8-24 review and public forum before any work officially begins.”

Minutes: Parks & Recreation Commission meeting, October 7, 2021 https://stratfordct.gov/filestorage/39832/42634/43817/44433/122544/Oct_7_PRC_minutes.pdf A motion was made and passed to award Town Bid #2022-14 to Classic Turf Company LLC, of Woodbury, CT with a favorable recommendation to Town Council.

Minutes: Town Council meeting, November 8, 2021 https://www.stratfordct.gov/filestorage/39832/42634/43489/44627/122673/MINUTES_TOWN_ COUNCIL_11-8-21.pdf

“7.3 Award of Town Bid #2022-14 – Longbrook Tennis Courts  Award of Town Bid #2022-14

Longbrook Tennis Courts to Classic Turf Company, L.L.C. of Woodbury, CT based upon the lowest responsible bid in the amount of $703,918, as referred by the Parks and Recreation Committee with a favorable recommendation. RESOLVED: that the award of Town Bid #2022- 14- Longbrook Tennis Courts to Classic Turf Company, L.L.C. of Woodbury, CT based upon the lowest responsible bid in the amount of $703,918 be and is hereby approved and that the Mayor be and is hereby authorized to enter into a contract for such in form acceptable to the Town Attorney. MR. O’BRIEN MOVED ITEM 7.3; SECONDED BY MR. PERILLO. Brian Snyder, Snyder Architects and Town Attorney Hodgson provided details, clarifications, and answered questions. THE MOTION PASSED 9 TO 1 – MS. SHAKE OPPOSED.”

Minutes: Longbrook Park Commission meeting, December 1, 2021 https://www.stratfordct.gov/filestorage/39832/42634/43811/44385/123102/2021-12- 01_longbrook-Min.pdf

“Parks Superintendent Report – Mr. Esposito reported. … Kick off Longbrook tennis court project meeting was Tuesday November 30th. 9 trees will be removed. 14 trees will be replanted.

Ms.Shake raised the complaint that the commission was never informed of the final project plan and reiterated that moving forward updates should be emailed to her directly so they can be disseminated to commission.”


  1. What a tangled web. Very difficult to see the continuity, jumping from Commission to Commission, and there seems to be missing the 8-24 review, going very quickly to entertaining bids. Don’t know what to make of it except that I don’t see clearly what will be done as far as tree removal. I look forward to the upcoming public hearing on tree removal where citizens can share their thoughts on this matter.

  2. The Timeline seems to show going to bids before the 8-24 review which seems to me to be warranted, considering the planned removal of trees. I don’t see specifics of that removal on that timeline, and it is very hard to follow, jumping from one Commission to another. Very hard to understand the process.


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