On Monday, “06880” gave a nod to the Westport Historical Society’s “06880 + 50” exhibit. It’s an intriguing look forward, at how our town might look and act 5 decades from now.
Yesterday, Saugatuck Center Transit Oriented Design consultants unveiled their latest master plan.
Looking forward themselves — but only 5 to 10 years — they presented a vision for the area bounded by the train station, Saugatuck Avenue and Riverside Avenue.
The landscape looks beautiful — filled with trees, sidewalks, a realigned park and improved lighting.
There are also over 200 new residential units. Plus more than 40,000 additional square feet of retail space. And new deck parking.
The development of Saugatuck is exciting. It’s also challenging and controversial.
It comes at a time when downtown Westport grapples too with new development — on both sides of the river.
Many plans for the future look great. Many blend our town’s history and heritage with the reality of today, and the promise of tomorrow.
Sometimes they miss things. Traffic — as anyone who has crawled through Saugatuck or sat on the Post Road can tell you — is central to all aspects of life here.
Our infrastructure is aging. Our public services are stretched thin.
This November, voters will elect a first selectman — and 3 Planning & Zoning Commission members.
Four Westporters are vying to be chief executive. Five are running for the P&Z spots.
All will face issues involving preservation of historic structures and open space. They’ll weigh in on amorphous subjects like town image and character, and concrete ones like personal property rights versus property development.
All candidates are invited to chime in on those topics right now, in the “06880” “Comments” section. Of course, readers can pipe up too.
But here’s something we can all agree on: Let’s keep it civil. Discuss the issues in a positive way. Don’t bash others; no ad hominem attacks.
After all, this is Westport, not Washington.
Our future is in our hands.
(Click here for the Saugatuck Transit Oriented Design website. As of yesterday evening, the most recent presentation had not yet been added to the site.)