The town's plan to use the farmhouse at the Lachat property got a thumbs up from the Planning and Zoning Commission. The commission gave a positive 8-24 approval that will allow educational programs for children and adults on the first floor of the farmhouse, residential use on the second floor for a farmer's family, and 28 parking spaces on the property to accommodate visitors.

Under state statute 8-24, P&Z is required to determine whether potential projects on municipal property are an appropriate use of that property. The Lachat property is jointly owned by the town of Weston and the Nature Conservancy.

The 8-24 request was made by Weston First Selectman Gayle Weinstein and Ellen McCormick and Carol Baldwin of the Lachat Oversight Committee. They stressed that the plan to create a farm and education center at the Lachat property on Godfrey Road West has been something that has been in the works for many years. In February, P&Z gave a positive 8-24 referral to allow a community garden on the Lachat property.

Ms. Weinstein said the farmhouse will be used for "small scale" groups, and the fire marshal has declared that the house can hold no more than 20 people. In an effort to minimize traffic and neighborhood disturbance, buses will not be allowed on the property.

However, in light of the very successful harvest dinner which was held recently at Wells Hill Farm for the benefit of the Lachat Farm, Ms. Weinstein said they would eventually like to hold harvest dinners on the Lachat property. For events like that, and other possible outdoor events, parking would be allowed on grass areas on the property, and not on Godfrey Road West, she said.

The commission approved a parking plan for the property, which includes 25 outdoor spaces and three existing garage spaces. The commission said a rental housing unit in the building behind the farmhouse, can continue to be used.

By Patricia Gay, Weston Forum on September 25, 2014