This story has been updated, to include a correct rendering of the proposed new golf clubhouse. The previous image did not show the location near the 1st tee.
When the Parks & Recreation Commission meets on Thursday (March 2, 7:30 p.m., Town Hall), they’ll vote on a long-awaited Capital Improvement Plan for Longshore.
A much-derided idea of turning the entrance into a 2-way road has been scrapped.
But many other elements presented earlier — including a new golf clubhouse; pickleball courts; relocation of the maintenance facility to the brush dump; improvements to the platform tennis and tennis area, pool and playground, plus construction of shoreline and pedestrian paths — are in the plan.
Parks & Recreation Department staff has approved the recommendation. It’s the culmination of work done by the Stantec consulting firm. Beginning in January 2022, they held meetings with 14 user groups and town departments; conducted a community survey; held 5 open houses; sent out a second survey, and held several public meetings.
Parks & Rec calls the plan “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make improvements to connectivity, pedestrian and vehicular circulation, safety, functionality, support of uses, accessibility, aesthetics, capacity, ease of use, and recreation opportunities for an increasingly diverse population of park enthusiasts.”
Among the specifics:
A new golf clubhouse by the 1st tee will provide:
- Restrooms and locker rooms for golfers, and restrooms for other park users
- A pro shop
- Indoor instruction and club fit
- Golfer check-in and payment location
- Practice green
- Golf cart paddock area
- Grill room and patio.
The current pools are outdated. The improvement plan will include a zero entry pool and splash pad. The redesign will capture water views currently blocked by mechanical systems.
Playground replacement and redesign will separate it from the Sailing School congestion, and improve safety.
Realigning the platform tennis and tennis area will move the platform tennis courts closer to parking, add up to 12 parking spaces, and allow for the possible installation of a bubble in the future.
Relocating the parks maintenance facility to the brush dump will:
- Remove an eyesore from a high-use area
- Create space for platform tennis
- Reduce maintenance vehicular traffic within the park
- Add up to 30 parking spaces.
A new traffic circle will improve vehicular circulation, especially for drivers unfamiliar with Longshore, and improve usability of the Cuttings Lane loop road.
Modifications and changes could be made during the design phase.
The Parks & Rec Department recommends a timeline beginning with the “much-needed” pickleball and platform tennis facilities to be built first.
“While we understand the golf community has been waiting for a longer period of time,” officials say, “the golf operations can continue to function while the other uses do not have facilities available to meet the demand.”
The improvement plan is projected to take 10 years. The projected cost is $47,099,000.
What a colossal waist of time and money…10 years of current use obstruction, noise and chaos for improvements that are essentially unnecessary and most of which will be outdated by time of usability. Think of the affordable housing that could be town built with a fraction of that ridiculous outlay, while the current, wonderful, facilities are enjoyed.
What a wonderful, long-overdue investment in our town’s recreational, social and natural assets. Seems like the town planners listened to public input, and while everyone didn’t get exactly what they want, there’s something in it to make most residents pleased with the coming results.
A missed opportunity to integrate an expanded longshore hotel with the golf club house. Rebuild the club house where it is with a second floor with rooms for the hotel. This increases revenue, has the leasee pay for part of the construction and them run the grill. This is a no brainer from my perspective as its a win win for all concerned. I urge the commission to ponder this prior to a vote.
Glad to hear that changing the entry road is off the table.
The new golf clubhouse should have unobstructed views of the water from the second floor restaurant, as well as easy access to the putting green and driving range. Hopefully this is the plan.
As the song goes, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” This plan is awful (Golf clubhouse). You are taking the best water views in Westport and turning it into a parking lot. You are putting the clubhouse on the other side of the entrance road and squeezing in what looks to be a tiny practice putting green. The golf carts and clubhouse are being split apart with a parking lot. There is no mention or indication of the driving range being maintained. How did this go so quickly from a flawed survey to a final plan to be voted on in two days? Was there input from the golf advisory committee or the Men’s and Women’s golf leagues? It doesn’t look so.
A few questions in case I can’t be there Thursday night:
1) Did any member of the public/Town ever ask Stantec to find a way to move the clubhouse away from the water and closer to the first tee?
2) Did the public also ask for more parking closer to the water? I know Westport has historically loved building parking lots on waterfront property but I hope those days had passed?
3) Assuming there is a grill room, which side of the clubhouse will the garbage be stored? It will be an eyesore no matter which side. Will the clubhouse staff be tasked with wheeling garbage dumpsters through the parking lot(s) to/from the larger dumpsters next to Longshore? This is improving vehicular safety?
4) Golfers will check in at clubhouse, then drive their cart through the parking lot to the driving range? Then, after warming up, drive through the parking lot to get to the first tee? This is improving vehicular safety?
5) I am not former P&R Commission Chair, Charlie Haberstroh, I am his son.
How disappointing. We get one chance at this. Leave the clubhouse location where it is or – even better – move it closer to water. It just makes sense!
People have spoken out and they want the clubhouse in its Original footprint to have a second floor, with attachment to the hotel, on the water. Furthermore, the golf carts that we do not own but we rent (if we still do) why do we need storage for them? They all go back to the company at the end of the year. We don’t really need to own golf carts in fact I think it saves us money.
And the other part that bothers me, we want to tear down a cabin which gives town employees a first opportunity to live in town with cheap rent for pickleball courts? Big discussion is affordable units and accommodations, and we’re going to tear that down, which is an incentive to the town?
No one ever said they wanted the golf pro shop to be in the parking lot next to the first tee away from the water.
Maintanence building, could go where Canal St building is, or even Public Works facilities and addition could be made, sticking it in flood zone area by exit in the middle of active golfers sounds hazardous.
I feel the plans still need work, we’re getting there, but $47 million for all of this when we have to build or remodel Atleast two elementary schools, a fire department building and police department, is a cost concern for me.
I miss the tennis wall, that is how I learned how to play tennis.
Can we get that in the plan too?
For full disclosure, I am no longer a resident of Westport (however our family business remains in town) but I learned the game at Longshore, have spent thousands and thousands of hours on the property and have been actively been involved in the fundraising efforts to benefit the golf course/clubhouse.
As a former member of the Longshore Men’s Golf Association, I cannot fathom how this plan is even remotely close to what the golfers in town have asked for over the last 20 years that we have been discussing how to improve the area.
I am sure the folks at Stantek do fine work, but this plan seems to lack any input from those who use this area of the property most often (and pay greens fees etc). And once again, it appears Westport gets more waterfront parking?
The area by the driving range might be the most spectular piece of property in town. How do we not maximize this? Imagine a relatively low cost beverage and meal overlooking the water? Would be a great town asset, for golfers and non golfers alike.
My apologies if all of this has been reviewed, seriously considered and cast aside for valid reasons. But my sense from spending so much time down there is somehow golfer input wasn’t given (unlikely) or wasn’t heard (would be tragic).
Westport has one shot to get this right. I hope you do.
As an RTM member, I am absolutely “appalled” that the ego of this “consultant” continues supersede common sense and the opinions of the public.
Many of us have already spoken out against this ridiculous plan of moving a building from a “water view” to a parking lot.
The fact that we have to “attend another meeting” and be “heard” again is ludicrous.
I hope our Parks and Recreation Director and other “decision makers” are listening, and will speak up for “common sense” and leave the clubhouse where it belongs -looking out at the water, not a parking lot!
I do not disagree with Jimmy or Matt, or other comments on keeping the clubhouse where it is. It may make sense..
however I vehemently disagree that the hotel will have access to the second floor to use for the hotel be it rooms or otherwise.
Let’s face it until we request, and will, FOIA document to see exactly what the hotel group is paying or getting away with paying, we have zero reason to further enrich their corporate pockets..
if the club house stays where it is then the upstairs level should either be square footage to replace parts of the cabin, or staff facilities, or a community area, available for the town of Westport residents to rent to have events that they cannot afford to have in the hotel.
I see pot lucks, I see family weddings, small events held there on the second floor, looking out on the water and “self catered”
I believe a wonderful way to use that space. Not more hotel rooms for delamar.. no more dining for the delamar. They have got enough.. with no competition I might add.. I know 5 restaurant groups who would have bid on that space if they had “known” it was up for grabs… but alas.. the usual zero transparency …
the delamar got plenty. They do not need to monopolize our long shore.
Not going to go in to the secretive way it was all conducted which I’m sure was done that way for a reason. And not a reason any of the Westport residents would likely approve. It certainly led to zero competition.
By the way folks, anyone interested in knowing what the delamar is actually paying can do a FOIA request.
It is town property. That means we collectively own it as long as we are residents.
We have a right to know what deals are being done. And make sure proper market value is being paid.
So again recap… by all means leave the club house where it is but no extra hotel rooms for the delamar.
And have a casual dining grill room run by someone other than the delamar. That does not mean deli food, but good quality casual food.
Again.. can we stop with the monopoly…
No need for them to run the entire property..
next we will hear they are getting the beach concession too.. hmmmm
The water front, parking lot is insanity. Did the consultants fail to visit the site in person?