Westport is about to lose 14 more very affordable housing units.
And downtown is set to lose 2 more pieces of its history.
Applications have been filed to demolish 2 buildings: #7 and #15 Belden Place. That’s the tiny, seldom-noticed piece of Main Street property just past Avery Place, opposite Veterans Green and Town Hall.
Supposedly, a developer plans to expand 201 Main Street — the former Nappa screen repair shop — and level the Belden Place rentals behind it, to create the required parking spots.
#15 is listed in the Westport Historic District Commission inventory. It sits on the bank of the Saugatuck River (with quite a view!).
Though the HDC says #15 was built around 1930, that may be the date it arrived here. It might have been moved from New Hampshire in pieces in the ’30s by Alfred G. Violet. It has long been said that the houses on Violet Lane — not far away, off Myrtle Avenue — which he built in 1928 also came from New Hampshire.
#7 was built in 1920.
Both Belden Place buildings are in disrepair. For years, however, they provided hidden-in-plain-sight, much-needed rental units for local restaurateurs, artists, teachers, hippies and whatnot.
As Westport prepares to lose more affordable housing units, it should be noted that because these 14 were built before 1990, they do not count toward our 8-30g requirements. So losing them will not hurt us as we try to comply with the state affordable housing mandate.
But losing them will certainly hurt the Westporters who lived there, up until recently when they were told to go.
(Hat tips: Morley Boyd and Wendy Crowther)