Stonington - The Stonington Community Center is reconsidering its plan to erect two paddle tennis courts on the site of one of its tennis courts after a group of Cutler Street neighbors expressed concerns about the project.
The community center, better known as the COMO, had originally planned to build the paddle courts on the grass lawn next to the COMO thrift shop, a plan that no one opposed during an earlier informal neighborhood meeting.
But because of engineering, permitting and wetlands issues, the COMO decided to move the courts up Cutler Street to what is known as Tennis Court 2, which is on the middle of three levels of tennis courts. A group of homes is directly across the street.
Two weeks ago, the COMO held a meeting with about a half-dozen neighbors who expressed concerns about the new location, according to COMO Executive Director Jim Truscio. He said they were worried about issues such as the impact on the neighborhood, the winter use of the courts, parking and lights.
"We really appreciated the input from the neighbors," Truscio said.
The COMO, which had been scheduled to discuss the plan with the borough Planning and Zoning Commission last week, has now decided to step back and reconsider the location of the courts, according to Truscio.
"The project is not dead," he said. "We said, 'Let's not rush the process. Let's be good neighbors.'"
He said the COMO will now reconsider either the thrift shop location or another site.
"We want to do anything we can to mitigate their concerns," Truscio said.
He said there is no deadline for making a decision as COMO board members will continue their discussions on the courts. If they decide on a location other than the thrift shop, he said another neighborhood meeting will be held before making a submission to the borough Planning and Zoning Commission.