Latest Saugatuck Draft Plan Released; Committee Meets On Tuesday

Plans for the redevelopment of Saugatuck keep plugging along.

The latest draft of the “Saugatuck: A Gateway for Westport” plan was released late last week. It’s available to the public by clicking here.

The Saugatuck Transit Oriented Design Master Plan Steering Committee meets this Tuesday (January 16, 8 a.m., Town Hall Room 201). The public is invited to comment, after BartonPartners — the consultant on the project — makes its presentation.

An aerial view of Saugatuck, from the consultants’ draft report.

15 responses to “Latest Saugatuck Draft Plan Released; Committee Meets On Tuesday

  1. Dear Barton Partners,

    Regarding page 61 of your (poorly proof read) draft: At exactly WHICH MEETING did it become “the official position of this TOD study…that the Cribari Bridge is to remain in place for now until more serious study can occur outside the scope of this endeavor” ?

    Unless I was briefly abducted by aliens, this comes as news.

  2. Concealed within this this sometimes incoherent document are some troublesome notions that seem to be heading toward a Saugatuck that we don’t want…

    I.e. The Cribari Bridge causes traffic. A parking garage would be a good thing. There is lots more to do, but it’s too controversial. We need more studies…

  3. Looking at the photo, it seems like an awful lot of asphalt…
    But what do I know? I live in the country.

  4. Mary Cookman Schmerker SHS '58

    Oh my goodness. A lot of concrete/asphalt. Assumptions made with out really knowing the situation. To Morley’s point…If a more serious study needs to be completed outside the scope of this endeavor…….shouldn’t a serious study be complete before anything is decided. We all know the importance of the Cribari bridge in taming the traffic not only through Saugatuck but Greens Farms also?
    I’ll bet that Westport has the talent in it’s boundaries to complete a serious study that is more accurate and more thoughtful than an outside consultant firm offers and that likes to use buzz words and pinpoint areas with numbers and letters. That sidewalk picture is hilarious. Sorry this got me in a bit of a funk. I’ll try to be more concise in the future.

  5. Mary Cookman Schmerker SHS '58

    I’m commenting again. Forgive me? Ask anyone in the greater Houston area why the flooding was so bad during Harvey. The answer: too much concrete near waterways, Bayous and reservoirs. I do believe that the Saugatuck River was dredged sometime after the hurricane of October 1955 but there was really severe flooding through out Fairfield County during that storm. The plan shown seems to include a lot of concrete and structures near the river. There should be a study done that would show the negative impact of a severe storm on that area.

  6. My first read-through of the Saugatuck TOD “master plan” draft encounters a striking reliance on a large parking garage which will add additional parking capacity to the central Saugatuck area. In all my years here, finding a parking spot in Saugatuck (be it for dinner, the bars or ice cream) has never been a challenge; TRAFFIC has been a constant and serious challenge, however. I don’t see much intelligence in a plan which relies on the devotion of a scarce commodity in Saugatuck (commercial space) to a parking structure that will actually add to an existing problem (traffic) by adding significantly more cars to the equation.

    And yes, there are incorrect and offensive statements regarding the Cribari Bridge that seem quite ignorant of the truth and the positions clearly taken and supported by Westport’s residents and leadership.

    • Chip Stephens SHS '73

      I do not think many have viewed the details which are worthy of pointing out.
      1. Look closely and you will see TWO parking decks, of course referred to as “Tiered Parking” One is shown on the North Bound track side and the other is mapped behind the Clinton Crossing motif buildings fronting on the current southbound side that was just redone (across from the old Arrow)
      2. The plan with the two parking decks create a net 0 increase in parking just a reshuffling of the current parking into new decks. This despite the creation of hundreds of new residential units, tens of thousand sq ft of new retail and the supposed need for more commuter parking.
      3. Most of the new development in the TOD calls for no requirement for new parking in the building plans, much akin to the downtown business area where there is a dependence on municipal parking and no requirement for onsite dedicated new parking.
      I urge those who will be effected by the potential endorsement of this proposed development to read the report, attend or comment to the committee prior to the meeting, and if you don’t, do not blame anyone but yourself down the road to reality when asking “Where did Saugatuck go, Who let the traffic get this way, How did we get here ?”.

  7. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    When did Treadwell Avenue become Treadwell Drive? As a four year old in 1956 I have fond memories of riding a sled from Indian Hill Rd down to Riverside Avenue with my mother. The road was closed in a snowstorm back then. No problems are recalled. Birchwood Country Club around the corner was where I first learned to ski.

  8. Can someone tell me the original goal and whether it is time to stop. Has this gone too far from anything the residents of Westport would accept and have they lost any goal or ideas that is reasonable to Westport?

    Please no more good money after bad.


      This TOD report ultimately goes to ConnDOT. It is my understanding that they can use it to makes changes to Saugatuck.

      Whar we gave up and got ourselves into for $440,000 is a question for someone else to answer.

    • The objective of a Transit Oriented Development study is to lay the groundwork for the creation of a dense core of residential housing and related infrastructure around a transportation hub.

      TOD studies are mostly intended for towns which are not fully built out. The idea is to avoid urban sprawl.

      Yes, I know, this begs several awkward questions. None of which will ever be answered.

  9. My previous comment? Irony, folks – written with a wry smile. Knew I should have finished with a smiley emoji….

    And, In an earlier post on the subject, my comment re the abundance of Westporters’ own talent, skills & knowledge should be a primary element of any changes, as Mary has clearly explained above. Don’t see much evidence so far that outside “experts” are reading the realities of living in Westport/Saugatuck.

    • Mary Cookman Schmerker Staples '58

      Thanks Bonnie. I probably drew from your earlier comments with out remembering that you were the first to mention it. It bears repeating. Posting this from a panicked Texas weathering an ice storm that would have all of you chuckling as thinking they think this is a storm!!!!! The meeting may even be over now. It seems like poor timing to get concerned attendance. 8:00 a.m. on a work day??????? I’ll look forward to Dan’s follow up report.

  10. At today’s Saugatuck Steering Committee meeting, Helen Garten pointed out that there are winners and losers in any plan of action. Losers, in my opinion, are those Saugatuck residents who live west of the Saugatuck River. Residents from Saugatuck Shores, the Hiawatha Lane area, and, of course, Stony Point Road keep life here extra fine by taking advantage of Ferry Lane West getting slightly less traffic congestion than does Charles Street. If we tier the Ferry Lane West parking area, as the draft plan calls for, in my opinion we’d take away from our local residents one of the few advantages we might otherwise still enjoy.

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