Two months ago, “06880” reported on a radical plan for redesigning downtown Westport.
According to the concept from the downtown subcommittee of the Town Plan Implementation Committee, the area could be revitalized by
- constructing small brownstone-scale buildings combining retail, commercial and residential uses;
- expanding the riverwalk from Gorham Island to the Levitt Pavilion;
- adding paid parking, and
- overhauling existing zoning regulations.
In ways big and small — partnering with private developers; creating a new town director position; moving dumpster locations and rejiggering garbage collection times — downtown could join the growing “greenfield” movement.
The psychic change would be as monumental as the physical one. Downtown would look and feel different. Traffic patterns would change; the mix of stores, and our ideas about commerce, would shift. We’d conceive of all of Westport in a different way.
First Selectman Gordon Joseloff backs the plan — or at least an intense conversation about it. “I think it’s time for the naysayers to take a back seat,” he says.
The next Town Plan Implementation Committee meeting is in 2 months. That’s the heart of the holiday season — the one time each year downtown is truly vibrant, swamped with shoppers and decorated nicely.
Between now and then, let the debate begin.