P&Z Explores Elimination Of Multi-Family Cap

Changes may be ahead, on Westport’s multi-family and affordable housing front.

This Thursday (October 8, 6:30 p.m., online), the Planning & Zoning Commission reviews a text amendment. If adopted, it would delete the “Maximum Multi-Family Dwelling. Called the “Multi-Family Cap,” this limits the number of multi-family dwellings in Westport to 10% of the number of single-family dwellings.

Without deleting that language, the only non-single family home development permitted in the future would be affordable units and market-rate unit units permitted in very limited regulations. All other types of development — including townhomes, apartments and condominiums — would no longer be allowed.

Belden Place is the site of new apartments.

Planning & Zoning director Mary Young says: 

The elimination of the multifamily cap will permit the Planning & Zoning Commission to continue its work diversifying housing in Westport, while retaining the predominantly single family zoning that characterizes Westport.

This text amendment does not allow multifamily development in any single family zones. Rather, it authorizes the elected Planning & Zoning Commissioners to continue to evaluate multifamily and townhome proposals in those zones where they are already permitted.

Thursday’s meeting will be livestreamed on www.westportct.gov, and shown on Optimum channel 79 and Frontier channel 6020. Comments in advance of the meeting should be sent to PandZ@westportct.gov.

Comments can also be sent during the meeting when the item is under review by the Commission before public comment session ends. Comments emailed during must be sent to PandZcomments@westportct.gov. Include your full name and address, and identify the agenda item to which your comment relates.

If you would like to comments in real time during the meeting, email maryyoung@westportct.gov (before 12 noon, October 8). Include your name, address and the agenda item to which your comments will relate. Meeting participation details will be emailed to you. Click here for the full agenda.

10 responses to “P&Z Explores Elimination Of Multi-Family Cap

  1. John D McCarthy

    So basically we need this to create more market-rate condos…..Our zoning regs do not include affordable housing in this 10%, and 8-30g allows affordable/market-rate developments to be done outside our zoning regs. So affordable housing is already well represented in our regs and state law. So not sure how this encourages “diversity” in our housing stocks aside from letting more million dollar condos to be put up.

  2. claudia p shaum

    I agree with John. Let the cap stay in place. We moved here from NY to get away from overcrowding. This does zero for diversity and contributes to the environmental harm being done every time one of these condo buildings goes up. Don’t we have enough flooding and loss of trees?

  3. Eric Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Westport. Stick a fork in it.

  4. Arline Gertzoff

    I have asked the Pand Z chair to provide a better explanation I t does not change Pand Z. ‘S approval or rejection of proposals .Furthermore multifamily units cannot be built in zones already designated as single family zones.I agree million dollar plus condos and town houses are unlikely to creatediversity but I guess would allow for more downsizing opportunities for people to stay in town .The term affordable housing is still unclear.I t seems like the state may act oncaps if towns don’t take action.Listen to the hearing on Thursday

  5. Cristina Negrin

    With all of the apartment buildings and whatever they call what’s across from stop and shop all I can say is what is happening to Westport? Not the landscape I grew up with. Maybe OK for the newbies but color the town different. Are the tax coffers feeling the need or is this developer greed and govt hand out? Either way I hate it, sorry!

  6. But when I do the math, admittedly not my best suit, if there are currently about 11,500 dwellings in town plus or minus, then isn’t 10% of that 1,150?
    How many multi-family units are there now? Probably 300, than the question comes down to this: is another 800 multi-family units too many? Too few? Just enough?

    I’m told that amendments to zoning regulations are customarily supported by planning data if not the Plan of Conservation & Development.

    What does the planning data support?

  7. Gloria,

    Good question. Thank you. I will bring it up on Thursday night. We have different benchmarks that are used in our planning.. Example: 830G is based on the last census figures which is 10339 housing units . The affordable state mandated requirement is 10% of that number. This number will change because of the census but that will take some time-how much is anyone’s guess. The lifting of the cap is a different conversation and we need to look at it the issuethru a different lense.

  8. Why does government even small town government like Westport always want to fix problems that don’t exist. There is more than enough affordable and multifamily housing in surrounding close communities to supply demand and needs. Let’s not make Westport the “fill the gap” for housing for New York’s Covid migration of multi-family populations.
    Westport needs to keep it wonderful charm as a predominately single family housing community. Those on P&Z who have this drive to fix non-existNt problem need to get a few other things in their lives besides overactive governance.

    • And here is why Westport has the reputation it has. The facade this community puts on about diversity, inclusion, being welcoming is absolutely amazing. You can talk the talk, that’s for sure.

  9. Sheila Vesciglio

    The traffic is going to become unbearable in this quaint little town. Very sad :/ Nothing like the family oriented town I came to in 1966.
    Change is good, I get it, but Westport isn’t Westport anymore…

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