Blight

Westport’s Blight Prevention Board held its 1st meeting last week.

In a striking departure from other governmental bodies — like the US Congress, which appears unable to do anything, including getting out of its own way — the board unanimously agreed to designate 4 buildings as blighted.

As a result — and pending approval by the Historic District Commission — the structures must be demolished or repaired.

Everyone in Westport — everyone, in fact, driving through — knows the buildings. They sit on the crest of Post Road West, just past Kings Highway School and Mediplex as you head toward downtown. For years, they’ve served as a dilapidated welcome to anyone expecting Westport to be immune from abandoned old homes with broken windows, sagging roofs and overgrown grass.

Two of the buildings on Post Road West.

Two of the buildings on Post Road West.

Demolition permits are pending for all 4 buildings. There is no word yet on what would replace them.

Westporters will be happy to see anything else there. Except a bank, nail salon or frozen yogurt store.

13 responses to “Blight

  1. Chris Carusone

    Does anyone know if the smaller house was once a part of a complex known as ” the barracks” which was built on North Compo ? It was where a baseball field is now , and was built for thr G.I’s home from WW II ?

  2. For a way-out and bizarre suggestion, may I offer lower-income housing so that more real people could live here?

  3. Audrey Sparre

    As someone who’s lived behind these homes for many years (20), on Lincoln Street, I am relieved to know that they are finally being noticed and that the blight will be corrected in one way or another. These homes have stood in tremendous disrepair all that time — creating an unpleasant and incongruent entryway into our amazing town. I am so pleased that the Blight Prevention Board was formed, many kudos to Lou Mall who has worked on this for our neighborhood and the town. We all wonder what other buildings might replace them!! Those of us on Lincoln Street and the surrounding areas have been particularly motivated to work sincerely and urgently but not unreasonably to make sure good development decisions are made that affect our neighborhood. We’ll probably keep doin’ that.

  4. I know this is off-topic but I wanted to share some news about the type of great work Dan does in soccer that gets little notice. Many of the 06880 readers know about the success Dan’s soccer teams at Staples have had on the field. But what isn’t as well known is the following: for the 11th time in 13 years, the varsity squad received a Team Academic Award from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Staples was one of only two boys’ soccer teams in CT to receive this award for academic excellence. Kudos to Dan and the Staples soccer program. http://staplessoccer.com/wreckers-win-academic-all-america-honors-for-the-11th-time/

  5. Audrey…better baton down the hatches…because it will creep in unless the Lincoln Street neighbors step up and engage the developer directly in constructive honest dialogue!

  6. Tracy Robinson

    How about the dilapidated house at the corner of Maple Avenue South and Old Road? That is a health hazard and eyesore which needs to be addressed.

  7. Tracy Robinson

    Sorry, Maple Ave North.

  8. Isabelle Isafan

    Are these properties owned by the same person/entity or different parties? Although low income housing is a good idea, I’m not sure what would be well placed in that spot. Imagine trying to pull in and out of a driveway there on the hill by that light…ugh! i don’t know how the little aquarium/fish store survives, it is just a wretched location.

  9. My mom’s brother used to own all of those houses. They belong to the conservative synagogue now. We could probably ask them what they’re going to do with them. The two one story buildings have no historic significance at all, they were two, plain, side by side apartments each back in the day. The other houses were split up into multi families and cut up with not much appeal and are definitely functionally obsolete, IMHO. And to answer the question about lower income housing: I think Westport’s got a darn good handle on that now. What would be an interesting discussion, is why other high end towns around us don’t feel the need to deal.

  10. I can well imagine the relief Lincoln Street residents must feel now that these blighted structures are being dealt with. Of course, one wonders what might follow…Strategically speaking, now would be the time for Lincoln Street residents to consider making their neighborhood a Local Historic District. New development can be wonderful, but it can also sometimes be insensitive to adjoining established streetscapes and corrosive to residential property values and quality of life – the LHD designation would strengthen your hand in many ways. Something to think about…

  11. Wonder how many more developers are going to use the blight ordinance to their advantage? Demo by neglect just got a free pass. You know the old rule…for every action there is a reaction… Let’s see how this plays out over time.