[OPINION] Saugatuck Resident Thanks P&Z For Tesla Response

Last night, the Planning & Zoning Commission heard public comment on a text amendment to allow an electric car service center — and possibly a dealership — on Saugatuck Avenue.

Most of the public was not in favor of the plan. The P&Z heard concerns loud and clear. They’ll revisit the proposal on July 6.

Opponents of the plan — which involves Tesla — took heart from the meeting. Saugatuck resident and “06880” reader Marilyn Harding writes:

Last night the residents of Saugatuck did a brilliant job — through strategies that encompassed fact-based data, tell-tale photographs and their passion of purpose— that saved Saugatuck from a future of more traffic chaos, more misuse of land, and more reckless change to a historic community. Their presentation to the Planning and Zoning Commission fully demonstrates how local communities can work together successfully to preserve the town of Westport.

20 Saugatuck Avenue — the site where Tesla hoped to build a service facility.

The P & Z deserves bunches of kudos for their sound judgment in steering an electric car company away from the already overcrowded streets of Saugatuck, but did embrace the innovative brand.

P &Z members extended welcoming invitations to Tesla, alerting them to locations on the Post Road where the required commercial zoning is permitted for car dealers.

The P & Z took yet another step forward, acknowledging the value of their predecessors’ work when town regulations were written and designed to safeguard Westport’s authenticity as a historic New England town.

Congratulations to the Saugatuck residents, members of the P & Z, and to the wonderful, creative Westporters who have gone before us!

14 responses to “[OPINION] Saugatuck Resident Thanks P&Z For Tesla Response

  1. Holly Wheeler

    Well done !!!!

  2. Joan Tricarico

    The Bertucci’s location would probably work.

  3. Bart Shuldman

    Congratulations!!!! And thank you P&Z for listening to the concerns regarding a very serious Text Amendment.

  4. Karen Kramer

    Post road west would be a good place for this project .

  5. Jamie Walsh

    I want to congratulate those neighbors who chose to hire Attorney Michael Bologna! He is probably one of the finest land use attorneys in the entire world and is one of the finest individuals I have ever had the privilege of being associated with!
    Michael represented my wife and I and our neighbors as intervieners on an 8-30g application and he was awesome! His brilliance, delivery and command of commonsensical points clearly defined why Tesla should examine other locations…more appropriately…on the Post Road.
    The P&Z as well as all the neighbors opposed to it exercised common sense and rational in their statements.
    Westport will welcome a Tesla location with open arms…just not in Saugatuck.

  6. Thanks, Mary, and thanks to everyone who showed up last night, both neighbors and others from around Westport, in support of Saugatuck. As many of us made clear last night, we welcome electric cars to Westport; we just don’t want to see zoning in transitional areas changed in ways that adversely affect neighborhoods. P&Z Chair Walsh did a terrific job reminding participants what this was about–a text amendment to Westport’s zoning regulations, not a site plan for Tesla. This was an unfortunate example of a site plan under the guise of a text amendment, which is why Tesla was unable to speak to anything other than their specific intentions for a specific site–and totally floundered once disallowed from discussing that. (Though in a way, I am glad they took this approach, because the fact that they wrote their amendment in such a way as to target to just two sites in our proud and cohesive neighborhood made it much easier to organize opposition.)

    For anyone who watched online last night who would like more information on the new Saugatuck Neighbors group, please visit us at http://www.savesaugatuck.org.

  7. Terry Anzalone

    We also want to thank everyone for supporting Saugatuck. —- A place very dear to us .
    Thank-you to the P&Z for listening .
    Thanks to Mark for all his work and concern for our neighborhood!

  8. Christopher Saxe

    Thank goodness Westport has good zoning and that the P & Z showed great wisdom in upholding those protective regs! Many thanks to the P & Z !! Also special thanks to Mark and Erin Kirby who worked so very diligently to protect their neighborhood, which also benefits all Westporters!

  9. Robert Birge

    I would guess that Tesla would prefer Saugatuck to make it convenient to the 95 corridor, specifically drawing more traffic. That location is not to serve Westport but to serve a much larger area. If they were interested serving Westport, they’d surely prefer the Post Road.

  10. gerald f. romano, jr.

    Dear Mark Kirby,
    Thank you for all your hard, dedicated work and your constant perseverance.
    I believe Saugatuck is saved from any car dealership now and the future
    Thank you all who spoke and signed the petition .
    Thanks Westport P&Z for hearing the facts and truth
    Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads in Westport and in the World
    Best,
    Gerald F. Romano, Jr.