The latest Westport clear-cutting project took some Westporters by surprise,
In fact, it’s part of an 8-30g project approved before the moratorium took effect.
122 Wilton Road — the 1.16-acre parcel bordered by Wilton Road, Kings Highway North, the Saugatuck River and Taylortown Salt Marsh — will be the site of a 3-story, 19-unit, 20,078-square foot apartment complex..
In 2018, the state Appellate Court denied a plan by Garden Homes of Stamford to build a 7-story, 48-unit apartment complex.
The developer returned with the smaller, 19-unit proposal, which included an 8-30g component.
Again the P&Z rejected the request. The scale was still too big; there were still traffic and fire safety issues.
But Garden Homes appealed, and a court overruled the P&Z. According to 8-30g, affordability trumps traffic and safety concerns.
COVID pushed back the schedule. But eventually the Conservation Department, Water Pollution Control Facility and Building Department issued permits.
This was the scene Monday:
Bill “Mr. Memorial Day Parade” Vornkahl notes that many organizations have not yet replied to invitations to participate in the Memorial Day parade.
So, organizations: If you want to be in Westport’s best parade of the year, contact Jamie Boone at the Westport Parks & Recreation Department: firstname.lastname@example.org; 203-341-5091.
MoCA’s Spring Thursday evening “Cocktails and Conversation” series has begun. It features compelling speakers, within the context of MoCA’s current exhibition.
The current show — “Rainbow in the Dark,” with works by German contemporary artist Anselm Reyle — runs through May 28.
“Cocktails and Conversation” includes:
April 27 (6 p.m.), “Creativity and Climate Action”: 4 Bridgeport artists show (and offer for sale) the projects they’ve created.
May 4 (5 p.m.), “The Wellness of Style” with Gayle Perry, exploring “the noise that our clothes and spaces create for us, with 15-minute style sessions.
May 11 (6 p.m.), Iraqi multi-instrumentalist Ameen Mokdad.
May 18 (6 p.m.), Conversation with “Rainbow in the Dark” curator Emann Odufu, followed by a concert by rock band Darling.
May 25 (6 p.m.), Barbara Sallick of Waterworks and Shari Lebowitz of Bespoke Designs on female entrepreneurship, home design trends, and the blending of function and style.
Most events are free for MoCA members, $10 for non-members. For more information click here, or call 203-222-7070.
Time for a church barn dance!
‘The Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport sponsors its 4th one on Saturday, April 29 (5 to 9 p.m.). Billy Fischer is the caller, accompanied by Wry Bred.
All ages are invited. There’s pizza and cake too. Donations ($5 per person, $15 per family) are requested. Questions? Call 203-227-7205, ext. 10. Swing your partner ’round!
Speaking of concerts: The Weston History & Culture Center’s outdoor summer concert series “Music at the Barn” returns for its 8th season. Concerts are set for June 4 and June 25, July 9 and July 23, and September 10.
Doors open at 5 p.m. for food, history, crafts and fun. Music starts at 5:30 p.m., and ends at 7.
The bands are from throughout Fairfield County. Kids will enjoy the crafting table, historic games and a walk through the sculpture garden. Adults can explore history with tours of the Coley House and “Penned, Painted & Sculpted: Weston Artists 1900 – 1965” exhibit.
Reminder: The launch party for “Pick of the Pics” — the “06880” book highlighting over 100 of our blog’s best Pics of the Day — is this Sunday (April 30, 2 to 4 p.m., Savvy + Grace, 146 Main Street).
Books will be available for purchase at a special price of $20 (regular Amazon price: $24.95).
I’ll sign copies; so will Lyah Muktavaram, my “06880” intern who did 99% of the work on it.
Photographers featured in the book can pick up a free book at the launch party too.
Can’t wait? Click here to order!
Totally random, but interesting:
Alert reader Jim McKay writes: “In 1982, when the Saugatuck train station rain shelters were installed, the Ukrainian flag colors were used. Long before Ukrainian independence.”
Last week, Amy Schneider captured — on camera, that is — today’s “Westport … Naturally feature: a snowy egret, perched over the Saugatuck River.
And fiinally ,,, Harry Belafonte, whose life was defined as much by his work on civil rights as by his popularizing of calypso music in the pop realm, died yesterday in New York of congestive heart failure. He was 96.
Belafonte attended fundraisers here, during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Click here for a full obituary of this remarkable man.
(If you enjoy our daily Roundups, please support “06880.” Just click here — and thank you!)
The traffic on Riverside and 33, and all of downtown, could benefit from Elon Musk’s Boring Company. We could easily make use of an underground loop from downtown to the train station. I would be willing to petition Elon for a proposal. We are a prime candidate for a tunnel.
There could not be a worse spot for an apartment building. What a travesty.
Traffic is already awful at that corner. They are going to need a cop controlling traffic there soon – make the state pay for it. It makes no sense that this stupid 8-30g law allows developers to side-step/completely ignore fire safety and traffic studies. Between this, the one going up on the corner of Post Rd West and Lincoln Street, and The Hamlet in Saugatuck, navigating the west side of town will be a nightmare. And what about the ‘greening’ of Parker Harding Plaza? They are planning to take away that road as well, aren’t they? How exactly are downtown/west side residents supposed to navigate through town? Myrtle Avenue? Church Lane is now off-limits except November to April. Why not use the Amazon property on the Post Road, since that is going to remain vacant?
Great point. The already bad traffic here will be badly impacted by removing the cut-through road currently in Parker Harding.
This is happening. The town is moving ahead with reducing parking in Parker Harding by over 40 spots and removing the cut through road, moving traffic to already congested intersections. Is anyone paying attention? Does anyone care about this?
Agenda for Regular Meeting:
Flood & Erosion Control Board
7:30 PM, Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Parker Harding Plaza / WPL-11724-23; Application of Keith S. Wilberg, Town
Engineer, on behalf of the Town of Westport, to revise the existing roadway and parking
lot, build sidewalks, a riverfront boardwalk, and park areas, and to relocate trash and
recycling dumpsters. The proposed activity is within the WPL area of the Saugatuck River.
Good luck at the intersection of Rte 33 and Kings Highway North- NOW.
The line of cars at that intersection can extend for a quarter of a mile or more in some directions on both Rte 33 and Kins Highway North from 7 to 9am and from 4 to 6pm!!
The folks in that Building will almost have to schedule taking their cars out every weekday!
This project is inviting disasters (health and/or fire) that are predictable and have been pointed out repeatedly by local boards and departments!
This is a mindless law carried out by a poorly informed judiciary about local conditions!
Shame on the court that allowed this insanity to proceed at that location!
1 Acre; 17 families. Think about it anywhere let alone right there where’s there is already traffic issues 😫
So to you Cristina, it’s not about the ‘character of the town’, but traffic concerns? How do you know it will be all families? Do they all have cars?
Sad all of you never want to give others opportunity if it infringes on yours.
Common Sense is no longer common
8-30g at work. The law is being exploited by developers who win and win. The character, which is now a word you cannot use, well how many more words of the English language will be strike from being used?
The small New England town charm that people frolic too cannot stay small when poorly ran cities rely on us and our dollars to poorly spend theirs.
This 19 unit building is in the worst area possible. We are not only doing a disservice to the residents but to those who will be living in those units.
It’s a disgrace.
The law needs to be reworked to include development past 1990 that has been upgraded and added to. The law should also focus on seniors being a whole point rather than half a point (age discrimination).
The next bill, fair share housing, is a nightmare and will force the overdevelopment bringing the town to its breaking point of employees, resources, utilities, runoff, pollution, and total traffic nightmare.
Imagine how the people in that little house next door must feel and what that court decision has done to the value of their property.
Quite frankly just because we are not a town of high rises developers so dearly wish for does not mean we should have to join all the towns like Stamford, and Norwalk in becoming one.
Imagine that was supposed to be 7 floors high and 48 units, the sheer and utter greed. And they are going ahead with 19, and still making out like bandits.
Best suggestion. And something the town should have done years ago.
Take the red barn property by eminent domain, and build some low income housing right off the merrit.
2 quick right hand turns or a right and a left and you are on the parkway.
Traffic is a s. Show in this town. No exaggeration 45 minutes to get from saugatuck to Main Street. And forget turning from riverside around by the rowing club.
Everybody illegally blocks the box.
Where is law enforcement for that catastrophe from 4 pm to at least 6pm.
Also the 33 post rd west .. there’s an officer there at lunch time..
we need one there all afternoon and especially in the evening.
Another blocking the box situation constantly. Rendering the next green light totally useless.
It’s not rocket science. There are solutions like synchronizing lights ahead… etc.
the taking away of parking spots and the cut through road is going to spell disaster for downtown traffic. The only way to the post road is going to be myrtle to imperial around by sconset square.. already a catastrophe.
We have been talking about this mess for years since the popular closure of church lane so folks can sit in the middle of a blacktop road to eat.
SMH. As far as the town hall is concerned this is just falling on deaf ears.