In 2011 — as part of its application process to open in town — Terrain agreed to preserve the small house at the corner of Crescent Road.
The Historic District Commission and Planning and Zoning Commission liked what they heard. The small, gray 1900-era building — one of the last examples of a single-family house on the Post Road — stood proudly across from the fire station.
But parking is tight. So in 2013, Terrain tried to gain 8 spaces by knocking down the house. They put in requests to the Planning & Zoning Commission and Historic District Commission (which was involved because the structure was more than 50 years old).
Matthew Mandell was not pleased. The RTM District 1 representative made a video. In it he explained the back story of Terrain’s dealings with the town.
Also in the video, the HDC’s Randy Henkels noted their early support of Terrain, based on promises the store made. Town planning director Larry Bradley described his department’s role.
And RTM member Cathy Talmadge suggested a boycott of Terrain, if they pressed ahead with demolition plans.
They did not. The next day, the company withdrew its request. “0688o” reported, “Terrain is believed to be working with the Planning and Zoning Commission on a parking plan that would preserve the century-old structure.”
It still stands. But — as many Westporters have noticed — it’s looking a bit grotty.
The P&Z is among those paying attention.
Part of the previous deal was that Terrain would not use the house for storage — that way, it would not count toward the number of parking spots needed.
Another part of the deal was that Terrain would maintain it in good condition.
Well, it is being used for storage. In fact, the interior has been torn out to allow more space.
And it is most definitely not being maintained.
On Wednesday, the P&Z promised enforcement action.
Will it come in time to save the rapidly deteriorating, yet still somewhat handsome, building?
As “06880” promised in 2013: stay tuned.