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Decision on proposal to bring 'disc golf' to Danbury delayed

A proposal to build a so-called "disc golf" course on Danbury open space land is going back to a committee for further consideration.  The request to install an 18-hole disc golf course on the Farrington Woods property was made last June.  The sport is played like ball golf but instead of a club, a frisbee is thrown into a metal basket. The basket is four feet tall, sunk into the ground, and the baskets can be removed.


The City Council voted this week to send the proposal back for more discussion.  Councilman Duane Perkins was the lone vote to not recommit the item to a committee. 


The delay stems from a committee meeting last month where the Public Works Department said their involvement would be limited to determining the property boundary.  Questions came up over the number of trees that might need to be cut down.


Mayor Mark Boughton says if even one tree is going to be cut, he wants to know who is cutting it down and if they are properly insured.  He was under the impression that no trees would be cut down.  Councilman Vinny DiGilio agreed, saying that a project of this scope requires due diligence.  Public Works Director Antonio Iadarola says the trees on the property all belong to the City, so if any cutting is going to be done it has to be posted.  If there's an objection to a particular tree, a public hearing would have to be held.


The petitioners say the fairways won't cross or use a hiking trail. The fairways are not wide and are sculpted by nature.  In order to lay out the course, volunteers would walk the property several times to determine the best location.


Councilman Paul Rotello expressed concern during a committee meeting last month about some of the holes being located near the water.  There were also comments made about the conservation easement on the property.


Disc golf player Matt Serfass, a Danbury resident, called Farrington Woods "underutilized" and said the 192 acre property would be perfect for a course.  There are no disc golf courses within 20 miles of Danbury, the closest being in Norwalk, Mt. Kisko and Hartford.  He says this will bring other players to the area, who will patronize local businesses.


One concern, about grants and restrictions on the proposed property, has been resolved.  City Attorney Les Pinter says the grants have been reviewed and it was determined that there would be no violation of the agreement or passive use of the park.  Parking and liability if someone were to hurt themselves while playing are also concerns.

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