81 Housing Units On The Horizon

If Westporters have traffic and density concerns about 9 homes proposed for the 2.2-acre Daybreak property, I wonder how they’ll react to this news.

Next Tuesday (April 10, 7:30 p.m., Town Hall Room 309), the Architectural Review Board hears a proposal for an 81-unit residential development near one of our town’s most congested intersections.

The application — submitted for property owned by Cross Street, LLC — is for the property bordered by Post Road West, Lincoln Street and Cross Street.

That’s just beyond Kings Highway Elementary School and Westport Rehabilitation Complex (formerly Mediplex), on the crest of the hill leading to Riverside Avenue, Wilton Road and downtown Westport.

Post Road West, where 81 units of housing are proposed.

A couple of years ago, several blighted homes were bulldozed there. The lot has been vacant since — except for one house.

The development will consist of 27 1-bedroom homes, and 54 2-bedroom houses.

Oh, yeah: It’s an affordable housing proposal, under the state’s 8-30g statute.

Comments offered at the ARB meeting will be considered by the Planning & Zoning Commission, when they review the application.

(Hat tip: Matt Murray)

45 responses to “81 Housing Units On The Horizon

  1. Peter Barlow

    Is that vacant land all the way to the back yards of houses on Riverside? It would be kind of a triangular area.

  2. Mary Cookman Schmerker Staples '58

    Uh… this sounds more like an apartment complex. I can’t imagine such a “Complex” in the area.

  3. And, woe is me, the Army Navy Store is closing. Signs are up out front….sad!!!! Been buying there for 43 years…I guess not enough.

    Tim Weiss

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

    ________________________________

  4. Ian Warburg

    For detailed information, check the following links:
    From the P&Z website: http://www.westportct.gov/index.aspx?page=1084
    57-59 63-65-67 69-73 Post Road West & 1 19-21 & 37 Lincoln #18-011
    Coastal Site Plan – 81 Multi-Family Dwelling Units pursuant to CGS 8-30g
    Application Materials
    Building Plans http://www.westportct.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=13390
    Site Plan http://www.westportct.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=13389
    Traffic Report

  5. I like to think of the affordable housing being for Westport seniors and residents, not young families from other towns who want to use our schools. What do you guys think about that?

  6. As a former long time Westport resident this sounds like a terrible plan. Yes taxes would go up – BUT Cristina your comment was just as terrible – Shame on you.

  7. Deanne McGuinn

    This is a four/five story apartment complex with parking for more than 150 cars one block from one of the most congested intersections in Westport. Aside from the fact that this complex would dramatically change the immediate approach to downtown over the flag bridge and will likely be seen across the river from Levitt and the library, this part of Rost Road and Riverside cannot handle the traffic from 150+ cars.

  8. Virginia Tienken

    Couldn’t agree more with Cristina. We need housing for seniors and residents. It has nothing to do with keeping others out.

  9. Bart Shuldman

    Our own State Representative Steinberg said Westport needs to move faster when it came to adding more affordable housing.

    But wait, if we addnin these new students to our schools, what is the cost? If they pay lower taxes, Westport losses money on every child at a minimum, and what happens if over crowding starts? More teachers have a cost, extending building could have a cost, Westport will face higher and higher education costs.

    I wonder how the seniors feel about raising taxes higher and potentially much higher. And what about the traffic?

    • Exactly! My comment refers to the schools, overcrowding, and a whole shift on how to accommodate more students. NOT about race which didn’t even occur to me frankly

      • David J. Loffredo

        Fake news.

        The reality is that Westport Public Schools peaked in 2013/4 at 5721 kids, and have been in a slow steady decline ever since (5545 as of 2017).

        Attached is some really great analysis, but the reality is that there’s more than enough room in our schools and if the projections on slide 45 hold true – you could add about 500 over the next several years just to maintain today’s enrollment.

        https://www.westportps.org/uploaded/site_files/www/District/ProjectionsUtilization_June_boe_Final_(2).pdf

        • Bart Shuldman

          David, your analysis is if everything g stays the same. With seniors moving out of Westport and repacked with families of 4 or 5, with small houses being bought by developers and replaced with much bigger homes to hold families of 4 or 5, it will not that much time before the schools get crowded again. Just one grade needing a few extra teachers and the education costs in Westport will go up.

          Making matters worse is the 8-30g housing will not pay Westport taxes to cover the costs of educating those student. Right now the Board of Education is asking for a 4% increase to their budget. If 8-30g adds More students where the taxes collected do not come close to paying for their education costs, how much higher will property taxes have to go up? Think seniors.

          Also, please remember that Governor Malloy had threatened to push down to westport (and every town and city in CT) 1/3 of the Teachers pension costs. This would be millions in new costs to the town. Our leaders better be careful as this could happen as the next biannual CT budget is projected at a whopping $5 BILLION.

          I suggest you pay attention

  10. Sally Campbell Palmer

    It is time to tell the State that its punitive 8-30g requirement for southern Fairfield County towns is going to kill its golden tax goose. These residences are all rentals, a more transient population for whom all infrastructure services have to be supplied. With the commercial tax base eroding as well, I hate to think what our taxes are going to look like…much less the traffic!!

  11. Michael Turin

    It was to allow exactly this kind of development west of the river that the new sewer pipe under the river connecting to the Waste water treatment facility and the upgrading of the pump stations in that part of town were predicated and funding authorized.

  12. Richard Bailey

    April 3, 2018

    Opposition to Cross Street LLC’s plan to construct an 81-unit apartment complex in Westport CT has gotten off to a fast start. Residents living on the west side of the Saugatuck River affected by this housing project have formed an organization “Westport Neighbors United” intent on convincing Westport Planning and Zoning Officials that this project is simply the wrong housing solution for this historical part of town. Riverside Avenue, Post Road West, Kings Highway and various cross streets such as Ludlow, Lincoln and Barr are neighborhoods of predominantly early American homes, many from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and make up a significant portion of Westport’s antique housing heritage.

    Cross Street LLC’s plans were just announced last week. The project, called “The Westport Residences” will use up to 5 acres on land bordered by Post Road West, Lincoln Street and Cross Street. Their proposal will create 81 one and two bedroom apartments, with 30% designated as Affordable Housing under 8-30 g provisions. 8-30g regulations allow developers like Cross Street LLC to ignore many zoning regulations.

    Westport Neighbors United said in their first press release: “We have many concerns, foremost among them being safety. Anyone driving on Riverside Avenue, or Post Road West, or any of the connecting roads between these, knows how awful traffic is today. It’s just as bad up on Kings Highway. It’s become next to impossible to walk across Riverside Avenue to reach parks along the river. Add traffic from this apartment project, where there is parking planned for 160+ cars, to routine Saturday or Sunday Church traffic, or events at Saugatuck Elementary School, and its easy to see why there is so much concern and opposition to this proposal. Everybody knows that the stoplight where these roads come together heading toward downtown Westport is one of the top 5 worst intersections in the State. This project will make that worse, and it makes absolutely no sense. We hope in the weeks ahead to have a chance to make our concerns known to Planning and Zoning and other town officials. Between now and then we plan on mobilizing as many Westport residents as possible so they know exactly what is being planned by Cross Street LLC, and how it will make life so much worse for those living here, or commuting through this section of town.”

    –End—

  13. Bill Boyd (Staples '66)

    History, safety, taxes, affordable housing and traffic are all good concerns….I hope the town limits building height to preserve SOME element of is historical character.

  14. Arthur C Schoeller

    A key question here is will this project really move the dial on our affordable housing mandated goal of 10%? No, I am not stating that I am in favor of it, but the fool’s errand of these developments is that when they build a certain percentage of AFFORDABLE units, they also build UNAFFORDABLE / market priced units that the developer profits more from. So these projects add both to the numerator AND the denominator of affordable units divided by unaffordable units.

    • Yes, these 8-30g developments actually increase the average price of housing in Westport. Not an unintended consequence.

    • David J. Loffredo

      Here’s what you’re looking for:

      According to the town website there are 10,399 housing units. I don’t know how many are affordable – pretend that number is 200 – so our % is 1.92%.

      This project adds 25 to the numerator (affordable – yet only for 40 years), and 81 to the denominator – so the % bumps up to 2.147%

      So yes these projects slowly chip away, but if the intent was to really alleviate the lack of affordable housing and all 81 were affordable, the % would be 2.681% and that’s actually meaningful.

      • These “pretend” numbers and possible percentages are gibberish.
        Get your facts straight please.

        • David J. Loffredo

          So how many units does Westport have that qualify as affordable and towards the 10%? I couldn’t find it anywhere. Thanks for your snarky fact free reply though.

          • Bart Shuldman

            David. The sad aspect of all this is Westport actually has enough affordable housing if they let us count the affordable homes built before a certain date. We are penalized because the town built affordable homes before the legislation went in and they will not let us count it against their ridiculous number and rules n

  15. Tina Torraco

    This apartment complex proposed by Cross Street LLC is nothing short of predatory development. Cross Street LLC does not have the safety of our children , or care about the onslaught of traffic they will add when they proposed their 81 Unit apartment house to the already over burdened pocket of town on the West side of the river. Cross Street LLC has one mission : to make money for their investors at any cost ! Cross Street LLC does not care about supplying affordable housing to Westport , Cross Street LLC is using the 8-30g statute as an exemption to slam their apartment buildings into any parcel in Westport they can. Wake up Westport, this can and will happen in your neighborhood too! The principal of Cross Street LLC is also a Westport resident living among us. Beware , he is on a property shopping spree. This is not about residents NOT wanting affordable housing in Westport however its ALL about the right fit this area : Riverside Avenue , Lincoln Street, Ludlow Street, Burr Street and many others take the traffic run off on a daily basis and now we are getting trampled on by Predatory Developers . Again Westport beware this is just the beginning.

  16. Sally Campbell Palmer

    Totally agree!

  17. Richard Bailey

    To do more than just add your words to this highly contentious issue, consider reaching out to a group of community members already organized to tackle the Cross Street LLC apartment proposal . Twenty five residents have come together to form “WESTport Neighbors United” to voice opposition to this awful development scheme. We need you!!
    Email us at: WMU2018@gmail.com. We’ll get back to you and tell you how you can help.

  18. The developer’s name is Russell Bernard- his company is Westport Capital Partners – He is a “Predatory Developer” !! Thank you Tina Torraco

  19. Dan Lasley (Laz)

    Where exactly should affordable or high-density housing be built in Westport?

  20. Don L. Bergmann

    Aesthetics, traffic density and to a lesser extent, population growth are my initial key concerns. I anticipate a very serious effort by our Town bodies and citizens to either prevent the proposal for sound and acceptable reasons or to secure changes that will address issues such as aesthetics and traffic. I believe more affordable housing is desirable, that 8-30g is overly burdensome and that our Town should have built or sponsored affordable housing with a higher percentage of units than the 20% minimum under 8-30g. We need to do our best to resolve the conflicting interests.
    Don Bergmann

  21. The P & Z and all Westporters must deny this application/proposal immediately. This highly congested area, where elementary school children walk, downtown employees and the elderly walk, and cars race, is absolutely inappropriate for any further units to be built (no matter what the egregious developer purports). This is a dangerous, short-sighted and economically flawed proposal. That this has quietly been in the works for years is a disgrace and we should all stop this process at once.

  22. It seems not so long ago the proposal for (how many hundred apartment units) were being discussed on the Post Road East opposite Greens Farms El next to Kowalski Bros? It’s very big and very real right now and just for a moment realize the impact on our schools. Drive by. It is huge and do these kids get a cross walk (I hope) P&Z needs to take a walk on the wild side and just say NO!

    • David J. Loffredo

      That one is 94 units – 54 are studios and 40 are one bedrooms – so I’m not sure how many kids will be inhabitants. 29/94 are affordable.

      The Kowalsky family sold the property to developers and then got the contract to work on it.

      • That thing is so huge I’m scared and everyone has to get a grip the size and expanse of this new project will be CITY. Is that how you all want to see Westport’s Historical district look in the back ground? I don’t

        • Bart Shuldman

          Just remember the quote..”Westport you need to go faster with 8-30g housing”, Representative Jonathan Steinberg.

          See if we get out of this one.

    • It is my understanding the number of affordable housing units does not go on the book until the building project is complete and rubber-stamped by the state. also as an aside on the Kowalsky property project – that is in the Long Lots district, not Greens Farms.

  23. What can I do I’m tired of being silent. This project is bad for
    Westport!

    • Andrew Colabella

      Attend the meetings and contact the RTM Representatives of District 2.

      • Bart Shuldman

        CT Lawmakers want towns line Westport to have more affordable housing, and you think you can stop this one that is on a major road? Just think of the court case, when they ask the question…your state rep told you to move faster, and you don’t want this project?

        Sure. Move faster.

    • Join our group- “WESTport Neighbors United WMU2018@gmail.com

  24. Tina Torraco

    Contact WESTport Neighbors United via
    WNU2018@gmail.com
    Sorry for the earlier typo in our email address

  25. Carolanne Curry

    So there you have it
    An intrusion not even remotely based on the principles of affordable housing as a social and cultural benefit to a precious few 20%.
    This is profiteering and nothing else.
    This is Avi continuing to advise and consult and Jim walking the deals through the steps to eventual approval. Approvals that have no relationship to Westport and it’s own special profile out of 169 municipal profiles in CT. Give Affordable Housing Development in Westport to Habitat for Humanity
    Where is Jan Tooker?
    Save Old Saugatuck has been very anxious to know if Selectwoman Tooker has been familiarized with the facts from our SOS community perspective. Facts relating to 15 years of resisting efforts of Felix Charney as we perceive them…. as residents, as property and land tax payers, and voters who have placed trust in those who would claim to represent them.