Friday, January 12, 2007

Uneventful Approval

Last night was the Wilton Inland Wetlands Commission meeting where our landscaping project was going to be discussed. I've been working for months with Brian Cossari at Hoffman Landscapes and Pat Sesto in the IWC to come up with a plan that everybody was happy with.

And was I prepared. I read the Connecticut Association of Wetland Scientists whitepaper on Vegetative Buffers. I also read and studied the Army Corp of Engineers Design Recommendations for Riparian Corridors and Vegetated Buffer Strips. I was ready for any questions.

A couple days beforehand, I prepared a brief two-minute talk explaining what we wanted to do. I wrote up some notes so I wouldn't forget anything and practiced it on Valerie.

Then the big day came. Of course, I was up at 04:30 because I had to be in New York City that day. And I'm fighting a cold. Still, I persevered and we toted our documents and landscape plans to the IWC meeting. We arrived at 7:10 and the meeting didn't start until 7:30.

As the meeting was called to order, we were the first ones up. I brought my notes up to the desk in the front, pinned my picture on the wall about 10 feet away, and started my presentation.

As I put the last push pin in my diagram, a horrible thought washed over me.

"Oh, sh%t, my notes are at the desk. I'll look like an idiot if I go back now."

So I winged it.

And it came out pretty good. Then I came to the point I was fearing the most:

"Any questions?"

You see, we've been to some IWC meetings just to observe the process. People come in and are asked a ton of questions which the answer is usually "Uhhhh, I don't know." Very intimidating, these IWC meetings.

But I was ready for the onslaught. The first question came and I swatted it down like a fly.

Then a commissioner spoke up: "I motion to approve with the normal special conditions."

Another spoke up: "I second the motion."

Boom, done. That was it.

Wondering today what the "normal special conditions" are and if they're normal, why are they special? Oh well, there are some things I'll never understand about local government.

I was almost disappointed that they didn't ask me about the Three Zone approach to vegetative buffer strips.

So now we get to start on our three day project that has taken 7 months to approve.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Ah, bureacracy! I, too, wish they would have asked you about the Three Zone approach to vegetative buffer strips, cuz then you could have gone all Jack-Nicholson-in-"A Few Good Men" on their asses and said, "You can't handle the Three Zone approach to vegetative buffer strips!"