The Town of Westport has won a major land-use victory.
The Wilton Road/North Kings Highway intersection will not be the site of an enormous new housing complex.
Judge Marshall Berger of Hartford District Superior Court has dismissed an appeal by Garden Homes of a unanimous decision by the Planning & Zoning Commission. In February 2016, the board denied an application by the Stamford-based developer to build a 6-story, 48-unit apartment complex on one of the busiest, most environmentally sensitive corners of Westport.
The judge’s decision noted grave concerns about safety, and damage to wetlands adjacent to the 1.16-acre parcel.
Garden Homes sought approval using an 8-30g application. That Connecticut statute allows developers to override local zoning regulations if less than 10% of a town’s housing stock is “affordable” (according to state formulas).
However, yesterday Judge Berger noted that fire and environmental concerns referenced as substantial public interests clearly outweighed the need for affordable housing.
In addition, the judge criticized Garden Homes’ tactic of rushing their application through the approval process, refusing to grant the P&Z and other town officials sufficient time. The developer also failed to provide alternate plans or additional information.
For full details on the case, click here.