Roundup: Cottage Cluster Housing, RTM Rules, Bill Mitchell …

On Monday (7 p.m., Zoom), the Planning & Zoning Commission will review text amendment application #835, for Cottage Cluster Developments. The amendment would create an opportunity for 100% affordable cottage cluster housing on town-owned land.

The targeted beneficiary of this text amendment is 655 Post Road East — Linxweiler House, across Crescent Road from McDonald’s.

The amendment would “promote sustainable development practices through smaller, more efficient housing and effective use of residential land, increase the diversity of housing choices by allowing for a grouping of smaller, single-family dwellings on one lot, and provide additional below market rate housing within Westport, located on lots owned by the Town of Westport.”

The proposed regulations would apply to 63 town-owned properties. However, regulations limits the number of developments in town to 5.

Deputy P&Z director Michelle Perillie says her department “is working to implement the goals of the Town of Westport Affordable Housing Plan, which recommends encouraging sustainably developed modular construction kits and prefabricated cottages to build multifamily and small houses quickly and efficient.”

All application materials may be viewed on the Town’s website. Click here to see all application materials. To see all eligible properties, scroll down to Text Amendment #835: “Cottage Cluster Developments.”

The meeting will be livestreamed on the town website, and aired on Optimum channel 79 and Frontier channel 6020. Comments can be sent prior to the meeting: or offered during the meeting. Click here for the Zoom link.

If passed, a text amendment would allow cluster cottage housing at Linxweiler House on the Post Road.


The Representative Town Meeting meets on Tuesday.

The night before (Monday, October 2, 7 p.m., Town Hall auditorium), the RTM Rules Committee meets.

They’ll address a petition, submitted by 38 electors. It says:

RESOLVED, that the full Westport RTM at its October 3, 2023 meeting affirms that the meaning of the term “Shall” in “Sec. A 162-6. – Agenda” of the “Representative Town Meeting Rules of Procedures” as found in Exhibit A of the “Code of Ordinances of Westport Connecticut” is to be “construed as being mandatory”, per the definition of the word “Shall” in “Sec. 1-2. – Definitions and rules of construction” and that “Sec. A 162-6. -Agenda” compels and requires the Moderator, or in the event of the Moderator’s inability to act, the Deputy Moderator or, in the event of the inability of both, the Town Clerk to place on the RTM meeting agenda such matters as petitioned by at least 20 Westport Electors not less than 14 days prior to a Representative Town Meeting.

The agenda item was submitted by Jeff Wieser. He’s the RTM moderator, and also chair of its Rules Committee.


Bill Mitchell — self-styled “socks salesman” and “doorman,” but actually one of Westport’s most beloved figures, thanks to his generosity, grace, spirit, and senses of humor and fun — will sell his last pair of socks, and open his last door, at Mitchells this Saturday.

He’s been his parents’ employee, then co-owner, and always the public face of the high-end, customer-centered clothing and jewelry store.

He’s retiring now, after 58 years with the family business. His squintillion friends are invited to say thanks and goodbye — or, more realistically, to share stories and laughs — this Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The coffee pot (well, its 2023 equivalent) will be on. There will be plenty to eat (as always).

It’s just another Saturday at Mitchells. But also one for the ages.

Bill Mitchell says goodbye.


Longtime Westporter Stacie Curran is proud of her town.

So she was very distressed to learn that “the hard-working, super-kind, smart, approachable construction crew” on the Post Road renovation project at Roseville/Hillspoint Roads and Bulkley Avenue “believe we are the most arrogant, horrid town of drivers they have ever worked among — well worse than Greenwich, Darien, Ridgefield (they named a few).”

They cited frequent behaviors: “cursing, speeding, flipping them off, not caring about safety…”

So Stacie did what Stacie does: She brought them homemade chocolate chip cookies, and pounds of donated coffee cake from The Porch at Christie’s and their Sweet P Bakery.

It helped.

Marlin (on the far right in the photo below, holding a tray of cookies and box of coffee crumb cakes) of Guerrera Construction Company said, “Westport, you’re not all that bad.”

But some of us are.

These guys are just doing their job. And their job is to make the Post Road safer, in the long run.

So don’t cruse, speed or flip them off.

Be kind. Smile. Wave.

And if you really care: Be like Stacie. Give them cookies and cakes, not the bird.

Smiles from the Post Road crew. (Photo/Stacie Curran)


Paul Newman died 15 years ago this week.

But his memory lives on. It’s particularly strong here in Westport, the town he lived in for 50 years, loved — and where he and his wife Joanne Woodward raised their family.

On October 10 (7 p.m., Westport Library), their daughter Melissa will launch her new book: “Head Over Heels: Joanne Woodward & Paul Newman, A Love Affair in Words and Pictures.”

She and her longtime friend — filmmaker/Remarkable Theater co-founder Doug Tirola — will chat, in the Trefz Forum. Melissa will share insights into her affectionately curated and lushly illustrated book, which offers a fresh perspective on her parents.

Newman will sign copies of the book too, which will be available for purchase there.


Staples Players staged 2 memorable productions of “The Laramie Project” (and one of “The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later”).

Now there’s another Players connection with the ground-breaking play about a town’s reaction to the 1998 murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard.

Staples Class of 2011 grad Matt Greenberg is producing a staged reading of “The Laramie Project” — with its originators, the Tectonic Theater Project.

And it will take place at the University of Wyoming, in Laramie.

The event is October 11 — the day before the 25th anniversary of the 21-year-old’s death.

Greenberg — who starred in Players’ “Curtains,” among other shows — is now assistant professor of acting and musical theater at Wyoming.

Click here for more details on the show.

Matthew Greenberg


Westport Police made 2 custodial arrests between September 20 and 27.

A woman was arrested for driving under the influence and failure to drive in the proper lane, following a 1-car accident at 11:30 p.m. on Cross Highway.

A man was arrested on 4 counts of failure to appear.

Police also issued these citations:

  • Failure to obey traffic control signals: 4 citations
  • Traveling unreasonably fast: 1
  • Failure to grant right of way: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle without a license: 1.

Don’t drink and drive!


For 24 years, the non-profit Westport-based Oyebog Tennis Academy has supported underserved children in Cameroon, More than 20,000 children have participated in tennis programs starting at age 3.  Two OTA students earned full scholarships, and are competing on NCAA Division I college teams. 

This year the Staples girls tennis team raised thousands of dollars for OTA. But the need is great, as demand keeps growing.

Gently-used items — racquets, gear, shoes, even household items — will be shipped soon. Donations can be dropped off today through Saturday, September 30 at 104 Long Lots Lane.  

OTA will also sponsor a pro-am tennis event at the Country Club of New Canaan on September 30. The Bryan Brothers will compete against local players, and some of the best young players from Cameroon. Click here for tickets, and more information.


First, Make-a-Wish Connecticut announced the stars of their October 3 (6 p.m., Aitoro Appliance, Norwalk) “Taste of Wishes” event. Six boys and girls will have their wishes come true: They’ll cook with the area’s top chefs.

Now Make-a-Wish has announced the menus.

  • Jes Bengston: Swedish meatballs, pomme puree, apple and kohlrabi relish.
  • Matt Storch: Ricotta gnocchi “Rolled Live,” tossed with vodka sauce and garlic bread,
  • Robin Selden: Braised short ribs with shiitake beurre blanc and butternut squash puree, and salted dark chocolate Bridgewater chocolate chip cookies baked to order.
  • Dan Kardos: coconut mussels with basil and curry butter.
  • Anthony Kostelis: Tomato risotto with sundried peppers and taleggio.
  • Christian Petroni: Surprise dish.

Additional food vendors include Sweet Brioche Artisan Pastries, Forever Sweet, Copps Island Oysters, Crust Issues, Amit, Dave & Charlie’s Hometown Deli, Blind Rhino, Bartaco and Candy Connections.

A VIP ticket includes early entrance and a sneak peek, Prosecco, and great swag. Click here for VIP and general admission tickets, and more information.


Today’s wonderful “Westport … Naturally” photo comes from the wide-ranging and talented Johanna Keyser Rossi:

(Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)


And finally … Terry Kirkman, who sang, played 2 dozen instruments, wrote music and formed the group the Association, died last weekend in California. He was 83, and suffered from congestive heart failure. Click here for a full obituary.

If you don’t remember their name, you know at least some of their songs:

(Every day, we “round up” the most important Westport news. If you appreciate our local journalism, please consider a tax-deductible contribution. Click here — and thank you!)

9 responses to “Roundup: Cottage Cluster Housing, RTM Rules, Bill Mitchell …

  1. The Association! What a great song is Cherish. I actually heard this the other day. Just ask Alexa to “play Walk Away Renee” and you’ll be rewarded with a plethora of great songs (including Cherish).

  2. These days I tend to throw my hat at everything I see in my midst, but, Bill Mitchell is in my eyes a super human. He has helped several friends, and acquaintances of mine and their families in ways nobody is aware. He is sympathetic, proactive, and sees hope in those who have given up on themselves, BUT, for his advice/mentorship. Bill not only changed lives but he saved lives. How many, who knows, but many !
    Bill mitchell has single-handedly changed the otherwise poor choices of so many residents. Quietly doing good. And never looking for kudos.
    These are the things, that at all times, we are not privy to. And that is the gift Bill gave, anonymity, and pure selflessness. Bill is an Angel !
    When I grow up, I hope I end up a version of Bill Mitchell.

  3. I tried to like Ciara’a post above. Bill Mitchell is wonderful. He is from one of the families that made Westport what it is today. He has carried on the legacy started by his parents and carried it with grace and unsung heroism. He is worthy of a post just about Bill. I do believe there may have been one in the past. Enjoy your retirement, Bill. You will not be forgotten!

  4. Hard not to see a connection between the observations from the construction crews and the dearth of traffic citations again this week. Again, absence of enforcement is essentially permission. And not having anybody actively managing / monitoring the repositioned Bulkley intersection in particular during the project seems almost negligent; it was a mess before – which is why they’re fixing it – but the current sight lines and amount of offset between the north and south bound sides of that intersection make it almost a free for all, welcoming egregious behavior (like the SUV waiting next to me in the northbound left turn lane on Bulkley that turned *right* onto the Post Road in front of me and against the light; astonishing).

  5. Stacie Curran is a gift to Westport!

  6. Still another Westport connection to The Laramie Project… Betsy Adams (daughter of Mason Adams) designed the lighting for the original production of The Laramie Project. She is a prominent lighting designer, professor at Juilliard, etc.

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