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Weston, Connecticut

Weston, Connecticut

Town of Weston
The Onion Barn, where community bulletins are posted
The Onion Barn, where community bulletins are posted
Official seal of Weston, Connecticut
Seal
Location in Fairfield County and the state of Connecticut.
Location in Fairfield County and the state of Connecticut.
Weston is located in the United States
Weston
Weston
Location in the contiguous United States and Connecticut
Weston is located in Connecticut
Weston
Weston
Weston (Connecticut)
Coordinates: 41°13′32″N 73°22′14″W / 41.22556°N 73.37056°W / 41.22556; -73.37056
Country United States
U.S. state Connecticut
CountyFairfield
Metropolitan areaBridgeport-Stamford
Incorporated1787
Government
 • TypeSelectman-town meeting
 • First selectmanChris Spaulding (D)
 • SelectmanBrian Gordon (D)
 • SelectmanStephan Grozinger (R)
 • Town administratorJonathan Luiz
Area
 • Total20.7 sq mi (53.6 km2)
 • Land19.8 sq mi (51.3 km2)
 • Water0.9 sq mi (2.4 km2)
Elevation
315 ft (96 m)
Population
 (2010)[1]
 • Total10,179
 • Density491.7/sq mi (189.8/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
06883, 06829
Area code(s)203/475
FIPS code09-83430
GNIS feature ID0213531
Website[www.westonct.gov]

Weston is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut. The population was 10,179 at the 2010 census.[1] The town is served by Route 57 and Route 53, both of which run through the town center. About 19% of the town's workforce commutes to New York City, about 45 miles (72 km) to the southwest.[2]

Like many towns in southwestern Connecticut, Weston is among the most affluent communities in the United States. Data collected in 2011 showed that Weston had the highest median household income in Fairfield County, Connecticut, at US$205,173.[3] In 2015, Connecticut Magazine rated Weston as the 9th best among towns in Connecticut with median home values over $325,000.[4] The rating considers education, crime, economy, community engagement, and culture/leisure.

Weston is the closest Connecticut town to New York City without a train station. Aside from a handful of stores that form the town’s center, Weston has little commercial development and residential development is limited by two-acre zoning.[5] Most of Devil's Den Preserve, a 1,746-acre (707 ha) nature reserve, which gets 40,000 visits a year, is located in the town.

History

Town sign for Weston (front)

In the 17th century, Weston's first English settlers were mostly farmers living in the town of Fairfield, Connecticut, the boundaries of which extended to Weston until the late 18th century. The Norfield Parish was created in the area now occupied by the towns of Weston and Easton. In 1787, the area was formally incorporated as the Town of Weston.[6] In 1845, the Town of Easton was split off from Weston.

A meteor exploded above the town December 14, 1807.[7] Six pieces, totaling 28 pounds (13 kg), were recovered and examined by scientists, who issued a report. This was the first time that people realized the nature of meteors.[8][9]

Despite rocky soil, farmers in town grew apples, onions, and potatoes. Grist, cider, lumber, and fulling mills were built. The town had nine manufacturers by 1850, but two decades later only the Bradley Edge Tool Company still thrived. That factory burned down in 1911.[10]

Unlike other nearby towns, Weston never had a railroad built through it, which stifled the development of non-agricultural businesses. Between the Civil War and the Great Depression, the town's population dropped from approximately 1,000 to a low of 670, by 1930. Artists, writers, and actors from New York became attracted to the community in the 1930s and began settling in it. Construction of the Merritt Parkway, which arrived to the south of Weston in 1938, resulted in further population growth.[10]

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 20.7 square miles (54 km2), of which 19.8 square miles (51 km2) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2), or 4.39%, is water.

The Saugatuck River begins to the north in Redding. It flows through the town and ends in Long Island Sound in neighboring Westport.

Weston is bordered by Westport to the south, Wilton to the west, Redding to the north, Easton to the east, and Fairfield to the southeast.

Principal communities

Other minor communities and geographic areas are Devil's Den, Norfield, Upper Parish, and Valley Forge.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
17902,469
18002,6808.5%
18102,618−2.3%
18202,7675.7%
18302,9978.3%
18402,561−14.5%
18501,056−58.8%
18601,1175.8%
18701,054−5.6%
1880918−12.9%
1890772−15.9%
19008408.8%
1910831−1.1%
1920703−15.4%
1930670−4.7%
19401,05357.2%
19501,98888.8%
19604,039103.2%
19707,41783.6%
19808,28411.7%
19908,6484.4%
200010,03716.1%
201010,1791.4%
Est. 201410,388[11]2.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

As of the 2010census,[13] there were 10,025 people, 3,289 households, and 2,811 families residing in the town. The population density was 506.0 people per square mile (195.7/km²). There were 3,629 housing units at an average density of 178.4 per square mile (68.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.75% White, 0.88% African American, 0.11% Native American, 1.94% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.25% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.05% of the population.

There were 3,289 households out of which 49.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 78.4% were married couples living together, 5.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 15.1% were non-families. 11.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03 and the average family size was 3.28.

In the town, the population was spread out with 31% under the age of 18, 4% from 18 to 24, 31% from 25 to 49, 23% from 50 to 64, and 11% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.9 males.

As of 2017, the median income for a household in the town was $219,868. Males had a median income of $168,472 versus $103,345 for females. The per capita income for the town was $95,534. About 2.6% of the population were below the poverty line.[14]

In 2019, The National Council for Home Safety and Security ranked Weston the 4th safest town in the state of Connecticut. The National Council for Home Safety and Security ranked the safest towns and cities in Connecticut based on the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics and population sizes.[15]

Government

Entrance to Town Hall

Like many other New England towns, the government of Weston consists of the Town Meeting, and elective and appointive boards. First among the elective boards is the Board of Selectmen. Chris Spaulding is the First Selectman. By charter, the First Selectman is the Chief Executive and Administrative Officer of the town. The town's legislative powers are divided between the Board of Selectmen and the Town Meeting. Among other elective boards are the Board of Education, the Board of Finance, the Planning and Zoning Commission, and the Board of Police Commissioners.[16]

Town Center

Commercial development in Weston is limited to the Town Center area located at the intersection of Weston Road and Norfield Road. The Town Center contains a grocery store, community bank, liquor store, pharmacy, casual restaurant, dry cleaners, realtor, gas station, and a post office.

Budget and taxes

For the fiscal year of 2019-2020, the Town of Weston’s net budget is about $68-million. About 78 percent of the town’s budget is spent on the Weston Public Schools.[17] Weston raises taxes on the basis of property value. With real estate assessed at 70 percent of market value, the mill rate evolved as follows:

Fiscal year Mill rate
2004–2005 24.07*
2005–2006 26.21*
2005–2007 27.04*
2007–2008 27.81*
2008–2009 28.58*
2009–2010 28.90*
2010–2011 29.21*
2011–2012 29.31*
Fiscal year Mill rate
2012–2013 29.41*
2013–2014 29.25*
2014–2015 30.02*
2015–2016 30.48*
2016–2017 30.36*
2017-2018 30.73*
2018-2019 31.24*[18]
2019-2020 32.37[19]

To show the evolution of the mill rate, the asterisked numbers are adjusted to account for the revaluation of 2018-2019. The revaluation decreased the grand list by 6.3 percent.[20] The numbers for 2013-2014 and prior years are also adjusted for revaluations in 2014 and 2009, respectively.[21][22]

On the National Register of Historic Places

Education

Weston Intermediate School entrance

There are four public schools in the Weston Public Schools district,[23] all located on School Road:

  • Weston High School – grades 9–12, with about 800 students. Some Weston High School (WHS) seniors go on to attend selective colleges and universities. Recently the high school underwent a significant building expansion, which included construction of a new science department and new playing fields. The high school auditorium was also updated in 2008.
  • Weston Middle School (WMS) – grades 6–8, with about 600 students.
  • Weston Intermediate School (WIS) – grades 3–5, with about 600 students. The school opened in September 2005 as the town’s newest school.
  • Hurlbutt Elementary School (HES) – pre-kindergarten-grade 2, with about 600 students

In June 2012, 24/7 Wall St. ranked Weston as the second wealthiest school district in the United States.[24]

In May 2013, and again in 2014 U.S. News & World Report ranked Weston High School as the third best high school in the state and 240th best high school in the country out of more than 22,000 high schools assessed throughout the country including public and private.[25] Weston High School was awarded the Gold medal for its high level of student performance. The methodology of ranking the high schools is based on student performance on standardized tests as well as student participation in Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. The AP exam participation rate is 60% of Weston High School students.

In August 2015, Newsweek ranked Weston High School #47 for America's Top High Schools in the country, public and private.[26]

In Aug 2015, Weston High School was ranked the best in the state and 47th best in the country according to a survey conducted by Newsweek magazine. Each year, the magazine ranks the top 500 high schools in the country based on which institutions do the best job of preparing students for college. According to the study, Weston High School has a 97.2% college enrollment rate, a 100% graduation rate, an AP/IB/Dual Enrollment Composite of 73, a weighted SAT/ACT score composite of 69.4, a student retention rate of 91.7% and a counselor-to-student ratio of 1:156. In addition, the average SAT score at Weston High School is 1784, the average ACT score is 26.6, and the average AP test score is 3.87. [[27]

In April 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked Weston High School second best high school in the state and 169th best high school in the country out of 17,245 high schools ranked. In addition, Weston High School was also ranked 65th in STEM High Schools with a town graduation rate of 100%. U.S. News gave Weston a scorecard of 99.02% out of a possible 100. The Best High Schools rankings identify the country's top-performing public high schools. The goal is to provide a clear, unbiased picture of how well public schools serve all of their students – from the highest to lowest achieving – in preparing them to demonstrate proficiency in basic skills as well as readiness for college-level work.[28]

The Connecticut State Department of Education has ranked the Weston schools in District Reference Group A (formerly the Educational Reference Group A), the nine most affluent and low-need-for-extra-assistance districts among the 162 school districts in Connecticut.[29]

Several pre-schools in town are run by various churches, including Emmanuel Nursery School and Norfield Nursery School.

Parks

The landscape of Weston is characterized by open spaces. Almost one quarter of the town is permanently devoted to open space use,[30] including:

  • Devil’s Den Preserve, with a wide variety of flora and fauna, and with a 20-mile (32 km) trail system that connects with the extended 70-mile (110 km) Saugatuck Valley Trails System;
  • Bisceglie Park, with baseball fields, a swimming hole, a two-mile (3 km) jogging trail and fitness stations, along the west branch of the Saugatuck River;[31]
  • Morehouse Farm Park, with eight, partially overlapping ball fields;[32]
  • Sixteen preserves of the Aspetuck Land Trust, for a total of 645 acres (2.61 km2), scattered all around town;[33]
  • Katherine Ordway Preserve, with 62 acres (250,000 m2) of woodland, three miles (5 km) of trails and an arboretum;[34]
  • Keene Park, with 6 acres (24,000 m2), with a small playground and park is along the each branch of the Saugatuck River;[34]
  • Open land around the Saugatuck Reservoir, with trails and opportunities for fishing.[35]

Notable people

Weston town vote
by party in presidential elections[36]
Year Democratic Republican Third Parties
2016 66.65% 3,807 28.59% 1,633 4.76% 272
2012 53.27% 2,947 45.84% 2,536 0.89% 49
2008 62.21% 3,571 37.33% 2,143 0.46% 26
2004 55.90% 3,136 42.96% 2,410 1.14% 64
2000 52.07% 2,767 43.88% 2,332 4.05% 215
1996 46.69% 2,252 45.97% 2,217 7.34% 354
1992 41.56% 2,306 42.65% 2,366 15.79% 876
1988 37.89% 1,901 61.43% 3,082 0.68% 34
1984 32.68% 1,639 66.92% 3,356 0.40% 20
1980 23.73% 1,117 59.91% 2,820 16.36% 770
1976 36.55% 1,608 63.06% 2,774 0.39% 17
1972 36.73% 1,500 62.24% 2,542 1.03% 42
1968 38.14% 1,246 59.35% 1,939 2.51% 82
1964 57.36% 1,473 42.64% 1,095 0.00% 0
1960 30.51% 655 69.49% 1,492 0.00% 0
1956 26.41% 455 73.59% 1,268 0.00% 0

Notes

References

  1. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau
  2. ^ CERC town profile for Weston (2008)
  3. ^ Town Profiles – Economic Data in Connecticut. CERC. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  4. ^ Rating the Towns: 2015. "Connecticut Magazine". Connecticut Magazine. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  5. ^ "Two acre residential and farming district" (PDF). Zoning regulations. Town of Weston. June 12, 2008. pp. 9–14. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
  6. ^ The Connecticut Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly. Connecticut Magazine Company. 1903. p. 335.
  7. ^ "The Weston Meteorite" (PDF).
  8. ^ Lerner, Edward M. (November 2009). "Rock! Bye-Bye, Baby". Analog. New York, NY: Dell Magazines. p. 43.
  9. ^ The Weston Meteorite | Meteorites and Planetary Science : Collections : Yale Peabody Museum. Peabody.yale.edu. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Radomsky, Rosalie R., "If You're Thinking of Living in: Weston", Real Estate section, The New York Times, March 15, 1992, accessed October 27, 2007
  11. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "Community Facts — [Weston, Connecticut] — Population — 2010 Census". American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  14. ^ "Community Facts — [Weston, Connecticut] — Income — 2017 American Community Survey — Selected Economic Characteristics". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  15. ^ "Safest Cities in Connecticut, 2019". Alarms.org. National Council for Home Safety and Security. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  16. ^ Town Charter, Town of Weston, Connecticut
  17. ^ "Budget Referendum, May 4". Weston Today. April 29, 2019. Retrieved June 30, 2019. The proposed Town operating budget is $13,452,745. The proposed education operating budget is $53,073,710. Proposed capital improvements, combined for both the Town and schools, amount to $1,286,429.
  18. ^ "About Weston". Retrieved June 27, 2018. At a Special Board of Finance Meeting on May 3rd at 3pm, the mill rate for Fiscal Year 2018-19 was set at 29.39.
  19. ^ "What happened in the process of developing FY'20's budgets?". Retrieved June 30, 2019. Board of Finance sets FY'20 mill rate: 32.37
  20. ^ "Grand List Falls". Retrieved February 10, 2019. After a 2018 town-wide revaluation, Weston’s Grand List — the total taxable value of properties in town — has fallen 6.3 percent, according to figures presented to the Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance at a joint meeting on January 28th. The unadjusted mill rates are: 28.24 (2014-2015), 28.67 (2015-2016), 28.56 (2016-2017), 28.91 (2017-2018), and 29.39 (2018-2019).
  21. ^ The 2014 revaluation caused a 12.43 percent decrease in the grand list. Source: The Weston Forum, 2014-01-30, 2013 grand list shrinks by 12.43%. The unadjusted mill rates are: 23.61 (2009-2010), 23.86 (2010-2011), 23.94 (2011-2012), 24.02 (2012-2013), and 23.89 (2013-2014).
  22. ^ "Because of [the 2009] revaluation, the grand list (the total assessed value of taxable property in town) will change by 3.67%. However, the 'normalized' grand list – what the change would have been if the town had not done a revaluation this year – is just a 0.75% increase." Source: The Weston Forum, 2009-02-05, Officials expect the mill rate to dip. The 2.92 percent adjustment is the difference between 3.67 percent and 0.75 percent. The unadjusted mill rates are: 20.25 (2004-2005), 22.05 (2005-2006), 22.75 (2006-2007), 23.39 (2007-2008), and 24.05 (2008-2009).
  23. ^ Weston Public Schools website. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
  24. ^ Liebeskind, Ken. "Weston Is Second Wealthiest U.S. School District". The Weston Daily Voice. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  25. ^ [www.usnews.com]
  26. ^ [patch.com]
  27. ^ "America's Top High Schools". Newsweek.
  28. ^ "2019 US Best High Schools".
  29. ^ District Reference Groups Connecticut Voices for Children, June 2006. Retrieved August 4, 2011.
  30. ^ "Forever Green". About Weston. Town of Weston. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
  31. ^ "Map of Bisceglie Park" (PDF). Town of Weston. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
  32. ^ "Map of Morehouse Farm Park" (PDF). Town of Weston. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
  33. ^ "Weston Maps". Aspetuck Land Trust. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
  34. ^ a b Radomsky, Rosalie (March 15, 1992). "If You're Thinking of Living in: Weston". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
  35. ^ "Recreation Program". Aquarion. February 1, 2007. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
  36. ^ [authoring.ct.gov]
  37. ^ Dannatt, Adrian, "Obituary: Paul Cadmus" The Independent of London, February 4, 2000 ("Paul Cadmus, artist: born New York December 17, 1904; died Weston, Connecticut December 19, 1999")
  38. ^ "John J. Curran, 59". WestportNow. July 8, 2013. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  39. ^ a b c d Elder, Janet, "If you're thinking of living in: Weston, Connecticut", article, The New York Times Real Estate section, July 7, 1985, ("Perhaps it is Weston's discreet anonymity that has attracted such entertainment figures as Robert Redford, Bette Davis, Rodney Dangerfield and Brent Musburger, as well as Erica Jong") accessed March 30, 2008
  40. ^ Google cache of Home page, "News Around Our Town" feature, Town of Weston website("World-renowned guitarist, composer, singer, and long-time Weston resident, Jose Feliciano, will perform a benefit concert Sunday"), accessed September 25, 2007
  41. ^ Yarbrough, Tinsley E., "John Marshall Harlan, Great Dissenter of the Warren Court" Oxford University Press, 1992
  42. ^ Kelly, Kevin, "Mariette Hartley takes a turn at Center Stage", article in The Boston Globe, January 23, 1994 ("Hartley was born in Weston, Conn., on June 20, 1940")
  43. ^ Grimes, William (September 2, 2016). "Fred Hellerman, Last of the Weavers Folk Group, Dies at 89". The New York Times. p. A17.
  44. ^ "Transitions: Passings", feature in The San Diego Union-Tribune, July 10, 2005 ("EVAN HUNTER, 78: Also writing under the name Ed McBain, [...]died Wednesday at his home in Weston, Conn."), accessed September 24, 2007
  45. ^ Chamoff, Lisa, "Eartha Kitt no stranger to local stages", The Advocate of Stamford, Connecticut, December 26, 2008, retrieved same day ("Eartha Kitt, who moved to Weston in 2002"); Thomas, Jack, "The importance of being Eartha", article, The Boston Globe, August 11, 2005 ("WESTON, Conn. – Waiting for Eartha Kitt in her living room [...]"), accessed September 24, 2007
  46. ^ Google Books page for Sagolla, Lisa Jo, The Girl Who Fell Down: A Biography of Joan McCracken, published 2003, UPNE, ISBN 1-55553-573-9 page 160 ("[...] Lawrence Langner and his wife, Armina Marshall. Residing in the nearby town of Weston, Connecticut, Langner and Marshall purchased [...]"), accessed September 25, 2007
  47. ^ [www.westonhistoricalsociety.org]
  48. ^ Klein, Alvin, "THEATER; Solo Act, Jeep Voice As Well", article, The New York Times, June 14, 1998 ("Mr. Naughton, who has been living in Weston for 22 years"), accessed September 25, 2007
  49. ^ Klein, Alvin, "Council for arts getting new home", article in The New York Times, November 11, 1984 ("The actor Christopher Plummer, a former Darien resident who now lives in Weston"), accessed September 24, 2007
  50. ^ Jon Bowermaster (Winter 1989). "The Graphic Genius of Paul Rand". Connecticut's Finest. Photography by Michael O’Brien. Whittle Communications. Archived from the original on December 6, 2011 – via www.paul-rand.com.
  51. ^ "Record of sale". Land records. Town of Weston. June 15, 1998. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
  52. ^ Fritz Reiner: A Biography
  53. ^ Landman, Beth, "Johnny Depp: Suburbanite? Weston, ho!" brief article in New York Magazine, November 14, 2005 ("Weston’s top-ranked schools attracted Depp [...] Depp apparently fell in love with the town when he was visiting Keith Richards"), accessed September 24, 2007
  54. ^ Jayne Moore (2005). "Hit Writer/Producer Billy Mann Discusses His Hits With Pink, Jessica Simpson And Other Artists". Songwriter Universe. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
    Shirley Halperin (January 6, 2011). "Billy Mann Named President of Creative at BMG North America". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  55. ^ Arnsdorf, Isaac. Gold Bug Schiff Counters Goldman on First Drop Since 2000. Bloomberg News. 2013-11-04. "In 2009, he bought his 9,300 square-foot house in Weston, Connecticut, for $2.4 million."
  56. ^ "People & Places" column, Business section, The Advocate of Stamford, Connecticut, July 22, 2008, p A7 (both Stamford and Norwalk editions; Greenwich Time newspaper publishes the same business section: "John Seigenthaler of Weston has joined Seigenthaler Public Relations Inc. [...]"

External links