2 Views On The Water

I still can’t believe I didn’t see the (very discreet) “Private Property” sign when I took this photo of “Westport’s Newest Park” for Sunday’s blog:

But as many commenters noted – and Betsy Phillips’ photo below shows — it is indeed the property of the Bluewater Hill Association.

I still cling to the belief that the sign was not there — perhaps it was attending Easter services?

It’s nice to know too that the homeowners across the street personally fixed the crumbling seawall after Hurricane Irene, and replanted all those beautiful flowers. All for the enjoyment of everyone who walks, jogs, races, bicycles, skateboards, motorcycles or drives by.

Meanwhile, just a few yards north on Hillspoint, there’s this:

Several beach lovers — some living nearby, others not — are upset at the new, high, view-obstructing hedge erected by homeowners whose deeds include the private beachfront on the opposite side of the road.

No one denies anyone the right to do with their property as they wish. We’re just sayin’…

50 responses to “2 Views On The Water

  1. How about the bizarre stone monoliths the town has just erected along the Hillspoint Road beach walk near your “newest park?” Why? To put an end to all the accidents involving cars that fly off the road into Long Island Sound? Name one!
    “Stoned” in Westport

  2. You said it right there……”the right to do with THEIR property as they wish.”
    There are plenty of other places to look at the water – how about right on the beach! I get very tired of hearing about people who feel that because they would like something to be otherwise – then the actual owners should please them. If you want it to look like something else – buy the property and change it!

  3. I believe the 90% rule applies here.

  4. Old and Grey

    This town is full of busybodies who want other people to do what the busybodies want to do on someone else’s property. Objecting to old house teardowns is another example. I can’t wait for the battle when I decide to tear down my 87 year old house. I’m a firm believer in minding one’s own business. Bitching and moaning I guess is part of the modern Westport scene though so have at it.

    • “Bitching and moaning I guess is part of the modern Westport scene though so have at it.”


    • You would have no problem tearing down a 200 year old house?

      • I do. It’s the bitching and moaning about the all bitching and moaning I find so ludicrous… which, of course is why I’m bitching and moaning about it. Bitching and moaning reassures me. I am often reassured.

      • Old and Grey

        If I owned it and decided to do so it’s absoluely no one elses business.

        • Old but young at heart (and wanting to keep great old houses in town)

          No wonder you’re old and grey and a real curmudgeon. Why not just sell your house as a teardown now and leave town if you’re so disgruntled?

          • Old and Grey

            Hope you can afford to buy ’em all up. Disgruntled…not. Happy as a clam getting my points out against those that want to step on property rights.

  5. The Dude Abides

    As the former Senator from Texas, Phil Gramm said: “Americans have become a bunch of whiners.” The GOP quickly silenced him which is sort of an anti-whine whine which I guess proved his point?

  6. Sensible One

    I have always found it interesting that people in Westport have a lot to say about things they don’t own. They have comments about what people should do with their own properties, fences, views, – the list is never ending.
    Then, the person who decides to do something with their property that someone doesn’t like, – the owner become the party pooper who has ruined everyone else’s fun. I don’t understand this thought process – it’s not logical. People who have purchased properties have every right to do as they please with this property they have purchased AND paid taxes on!!
    I agree with Anon. 2 – go sit on the beach if you want an unobstructed view.

    • Old and Grey

      My sentiments exactly!!!

    • The Dude Abides

      Whar you been Sensible One? Spot on!

    • Just as Sensible

      We could have a town like Essex where people value beautiful old homes and no one even thinks of building a McMansion, no matter how much money they have. The town is a pleasant place to live.

  7. Even More Anonymous

    Well, I might agree with some of these sentiments in most instances, but I regularly drive by one “T” shaped intersection in town where it is now hard to see the traffic coming in one of the directions because one of the homeowners has built a stonewall extending all the way to the end of his property. That falls under the “guy should be able to do what he wants with his own stuff” category, but it also compromises public safety.

    • Old and Grey

      There are sightline rules…where’s the enforcement? Make a case to the zoning enforcement folks.

  8. Another anonymous...

    Im Just saying too… yes there are rights. I support property owner rights. But there is also the “spirit” -and this changes the ambiance of the whole beach walk. I have walked that walk for years– and always treasured the view, the feeling one gets at the specialness of the place– and the hedge and fence is a visual, in your face, that smacks of exclusivity.. and the “have’s and the have nots.” Why is this necessary??

  9. Another Anonymous:
    Because IT’S NOT YOUR PROPERTY!!!!!!! Spirit has nothing to do with it – it is their property. Your feelings about their property mean nothing – unless you want to pony up and pay for it.

  10. Another anonymous...

    Believe me Im fully aware its not my property. But Im entitled to my reactions– as are others who feel a sense of loss– of what was once an open view…. If you chose to live near the beach– you don’t have to “keep the riff-raff” out in such a blatant way. But, you are clearly quite comfortable with a exclusivity vibe in this town… and I find that sad. Thats all… The old artists colony of Westport was not this way… It has nothing to do with rights. Its what’s neighborly.. AND FEELINGS DO MATTER!!

    • Old and Grey

      I’ve lived here for almost 50 years and don’t get this old artists colony stuff. I think it’s a figment of the imagination to fit your feelings. How come nobody’s bitching about Mr. Priceline who built the mega Mansion on the site of the Black estate Gazebo and took out hundreds of feet of the view you’re talking about. Compare that to thirty or so feet of hedge.

      • Old and Grey

        Correction: Mr. Value Line not Priceline…gotta get my facts straight

      • Not Grey Yet

        You’re a newcomer, Old and Grey. I’ve been here for 66 years and of course Westport was an artists colony. Are you real? Do you go to exhibits at the wonderful Historical Society that show all the creative people who lived (and still live) here? Westport is special, and we’re lucky for their legacy. The current exhibit at the WHS tells about Rod Serling and Lucille Ball and all the writers who loved to include Westport in their TV shows. AND come to the Mollie Gala at the Westport Country Playhouse on April 21s to see art from many, many world-famous artists who lived in Westport and surrounding towns. As you know from Dan Woog’s blog, there is always something going on here, and the way to be a part of the community is not to build huge walls. Look at some of the beautiful large homes that still are neighborly.

        • Old and Grey

          Nice commercial but not on topic. It’s about people butting into other people’s business. How do you know that I have not partaken of the events you discussed. Those events do not make this an artist’s colony. I am convinced Westport has become a colony for those who think they are entitled to opine about what other people should do. Hmmm maybe we should pass laws about size shape color of people’s domiciles. I wonder if that’s next.

  11. Richard Lawrence Stein

    The chain link fence is ugly as sin… But let’s examine the picture… The people put up shrubs on a parcel of land that is on the water side of Hillspoint. Does that make sense? You can’t build anything there… So its really just dumb money being spent.

  12. Another anonymous...

    Old and Grey— I feel sad and upset about mr Value’s Mega mansion too. But there was no 06880 post to comment about. And yes Richard, it just looks ugly….such a symbol and message to all “we own this.. keep out!” –why?

  13. I got wash the spittle off my monitor

  14. Looks like they put out some patio furniture. Hedges probably designed to PREVENT OBSERVATION, just as everyone noticed.

  15. a beach walker...

    shh.. don’t say anything– they will put up a brick wall next. This reminds me of a NYTimes article called: “They took away my moon.” For years, people living on the west side in NYC– had a terrific view of the hudson,
    and the moon and sky-line etc. Then along came Donald Trump and built
    a huge high-rise and took away everyone’s view… Sure, its his property and he could do as he wished– but it sure was a loss for many who had enjoyed years of natures beauty. were they whining?

  16. You know, all you folks have very strong opinions as to why other people should shut up about your property and the fact that you have the right to do what you want with it.

    Well to all of you courageous and opinionated “anons” and pseudonyms; yup folks like you who are willing to stand up and be counted behind your powerful positions and highly educated business degrees, just as long as no one knows who you are. Well here’s my opinion and my name is Warren Shapiro. You can do whatever you want with your property. It’s your legal right, you own it. But that doesn’t make it right. That whole concept of “selfish” I don’t think they teach that in the MBA programs. You own the property, it has a beautiful vista, you have the right to do whatever you want with it…obstruct it and protect it from the prying eyes of the Westport riffraff, tear it down, change it anyway that you like. After all, it’s yours! But it doesn’t mean you are not being selfish in your actions.

    • Anon Hedge Fund

      Selfish?!? I consider the buttinski complainers to be the selfish ones in Westport. They want to impose their aesthetic attitudes on my what I do with my property. Now that is truly selfish!

      I do not opine about how others use their property. I have my opinions, but why express them? It only causes animosity.

    • Very well put! I live at the beach too, and walk that walk all the time– so, to all of you– just walk down there, and see for yourself, before you hurl any (more) bricks… Two different owners of precious/private land in front of their houses and the sea and two different ideas on how to claim their property through the use of (#1) gorgeous plantings and flowering rock gardens (yay!!) with just a simple chain and small private sign or (#2) 30 feet along the sound side of newly planted thick, tall privacy hedges that will grow and grow– and block and block– ((ick)) I’m just saying that there could be a much better solution/and anything would be better–

      hell, I’d take the chain link now!!

      … maybe they will be nice and trim the hedges

      • beach neighbor

        Yes Betsy. They could do what they needed to do– show the world their privacy, but at least be tasteful. And thanks to the people down the road who managed to keep their property private, but not take away the gorgeous view that is a major part of town’s character. But I bet they were not considering the impact of their design on their neighbors. They were just being clever and creative to get their privacy. and now that we say, ouch– They are on the defensive… talking about property rights and whiners.

  17. They are NUDISTS! Pot smoking nudists!
    Hiding from the law behind their bush. Reliable source. Submit photos to Dan.

    • The Dude Abides

      Wide lens required. VET, you light up my day. One of the few left that actually has a sense of humor about all this fluff.

  18. beach neighbor

    Yes!! Mr Warren Shapiro. They are selfish indeed. and it makes the the vista look so ugly. They don’t live in isolation, they live in a beach community– Just like Alvira’s is special to people’s hearts and the whole ambiance, so is the vista/view. Just because one has money does not
    mean one needs to create a barrier.

  19. Old and Grey

    They paid dearly for the privilege to own the property. Why should whiners get it for nothing? Hmmm wonder if they care about what others think about how they use THEIR property. Maybe they have a good reason to block the view of prying/nosy people who are probably NOT their neighbors.

  20. Not Grey Yet

    Watch out everyone! Old and Grey will figure out a way to block the moon so no one else can see it. I’m sure he/she has a good reason to use his/her property to make sure the “whiners” can’t enjoy the moon because with enough money it should be done.

    • Old and Grey

      Sorry you didn’t get the point. It’s about property rights not blocking the moon. Maybe we should make Westport a commune.

  21. Stop Entitled Westporters Now

    The obnoxious sense of entitlement that so many Westporters display these days makes me ill.

    Just because you’ve lived in the town for X amount of years doesn’t mean that you are entitled to anyone else’s property.

  22. Anon Hedge Fund

    On the bright side, the hedges and chain-link will probably remain as the owners want.

    I have never understood the aversion in Westport to chain-link. It is low profile, unobtrusive, durable, and inexpensive.

  23. Interested in seeing how this plays out, i.e., if westporters will go beyond sharing opinions on the blog by making these people assert their own private property rights. It’s very possible that they have children who will be playing there who they don’t want people staring at, that they will have dinners there during which they also do not want to be stared at, that the hedges will provide shade for grass that doesn’t grow as easily on that more sandy side, etc.

  24. Gwen Dwyer Lechnar

    “O&G” points out that those hedge planters “paid dearly ” for their property and thus have the right to with it as they wish. Let’s leave to one side the sad whine that waterfront all over the country is becoming pretty exclusively for those who can “pay dearly” (on, global warming!They’ll be the first ones swamped!)But it’s funny how those property rights don’t seem to apply so firmly the other way around. People in possession of tumble-down houses they’re clinging onto by their fingernails, yards cuttered with cars, frig’s and other things in various state of disrepair, get chivvied and chided and sometimes even taken to court for maintaining “eyesores”. Or have they all been driven out of picturesque Westport since I left?

    • Yo Gwen,
      All the seedy areas are gone. A few rednecks remain, under constant legal attack. No more weirdo winter house sitters at Compo. Come back, toss a few truck tires on your lawn, play your music loud!

  25. Gwen Dwyer Lechnar

    Going on my bucket list, Veteran!