Breaking News: Tesla Withdraws Saugatuck Application

In a 2-sentence letter, Tesla has abandoned its quest to build a vehicle service center on Saugatuck Avenue.

Mel Barr — the electric vehicle manufacturer’s land-use consultant in Westport — wrote to Planning & Zoning director Mary Young:

In view of the public testimony, submitted protest petition and Commission concerns expressed at the Public Hearing on June 15, 2017, the Applicant has decided to WITHDRAW the above referenced application [#17-024]. Please REMOVE this continued item from the July 6th, 2017 Planning & Zoning Commission Agenda.

Public protest at the public hearing, and on “06880,” against Tesla’s plan was strong earlier this month. Reasons included traffic, noise, and the possibility that the service center could become a dealership sometime down the road.

But the comments section of “06880” was also filled with proponents. They touted Tesla’s plan as a strong, low-intensity use of the property, and an asset to Westport’s economy and environmental commitment.

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

17 responses to “Breaking News: Tesla Withdraws Saugatuck Application

  1. Jeff Giannone

    So silly. Maybe another gym or medical complex will move in, maybe add a nail salon and another restaurant and then these people will see what real traffic is…

    • Michael Calise

      The RORD zone in this neighborhood functions as the transitional zone it is designed to be. The residential developments abutting the RORD zone are as important as commercial uses. In this regard Westport has an enlightened zoning commission and the neighborhood response to the requested change was very effective. Tesla would not have dropped this if they did not have other alternatives.

    • Jamie Walsh

      It was about changing existing zoning using a text amendment. It will become something and traffic congestion will have an impact. Text amendments are slippery slopes and can have extreme negative consequences especially in residential communities. That is the real issue at hand.

  2. Nancy Vener

    What we really need there is a small grocery store.
    Peters is missed.

  3. Elizabeth Thibault

    I’m hoping they find a nice good location on the Post Road, maybe where Bertucci’s used to be? Great location, easy access to the highway and traffic corridor, and more positioned to be able to accommodate the traffic they anticipate.

  4. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    Ohm My God!!!

  5. What we need is another high end fashion store. 🙂

  6. Morley Boyd

    With no disrespect whatsoever to the applicants, I have to tip my hat to Mark Kirby and his neighbors. Those of us who have sat through their share of land use applications get kinda jaded but I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen a nicer group of people mobilize like that. And it was done in a way that was respectful, informed, heartfelt, often funny – and yet deadly serious in its objective. You guys are a class act.

  7. Werner Liepolt

    A win for the residents of Saugatuck who are serious about preserving their quality of life and the essence of their neighborhood.
    Because of its response to the neighborhood I hope Tesla finds a Westport site suited to its goals.

  8. Matthew Mandell

    Good call. They don’t get a no. Hopefully they find a proper location for such a use in Westport.

    Great win for the community and for Saugatuck. Saugatuck is a special and unique place. With now motivated residents the future looks bright to ensure it remains a wonderful place.

  9. This space should be a grocery store… This neighborhood has needed one ever since the convenience store in this space and Peter’s Bridge Market left.

  10. David Sarno

    Jeff Giannone – What you don’t understand is that we want businesses that serve the community. That space was zoned to serve the community. By the way – referring to us as “these people” is obnoxious – we’re neighbors and I wish Westporters would band together for one another rather than fighting one another. We can find ways for everyone to enjoy Westport without destroying neighborhoods – I urge everyone to take that attitude as we look at our next big challenge – the transformation of Saugatuck!

  11. Don L. Bergmann

    I applaud the outcome and wish Tesla well. We all need to work for the benefit of the Saugatuck community. It is a community and should be seen as such..
    Don Bergmann