Tag Archives: affordable housing

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.

Pre-Applications Available For Affordable Westport Housing

Earlier today, the town sent out a terse email. Headlined “Local Housing Authorities Are Now Accepting Pre-Applications for Affordable Housing,” it read:

Preliminary applications will be accepted beginning on 06/03/2019 AND END with a postmark date of 06/28/2019. Pre-applications received after the end date as postmarked will be automatically rejected.

Please click on the following link for income-eligibility requirements and a download of the pre-applications: https://millennium-realty.com

It sounded a bit cryptic. Pre-applications for what affordable housing, exactly?

And who is Millennium Realty?

I clicked the link.

The Millennium Group — headquartered in New Britain — has a handsome website. At the top are photos of 4 beautiful residences. Two are homes that would not look out of place in Westport; 2 are gleaming new apartment buildings.

Turns out Millennium Realty (aka The Millennium Group) manages a wide array of properties — including 4 affordable housing facilities in Westport. They are:

  • Canal Park (50 units; elderly; studio and 1-bedroom)
  • Hales Court (78 units; 1, 2, 3 and 4-bedroom)
  • Hidden Brook (39 units; 1, 2 and 3-bedroom)
  • Sasco Creek (33 units; 2 and 3-bedroom).

That’s 200 units of affordable housing.

Canal Park offers affordable housing for seniors, near downtown.

But why “pre-applications”?

Turns out they occasionally open up wait lists, to fill when vacancies occur. “Pre-applications” are used to screen for initial program eligibility.

So for anyone interested in being screened for a possible eventual spot on a wait list for affordable Westport housing: Click on the link above. You can also pick up a copy at the Westport Housing Authority (5 Canal Street), or call 203-227-4672.

Hales Court also offers affordable housing in Westport.

Embrace Baron’s South

5o years ago, Westport bought Longshore.

The entire process — from conception to approval — took 18 days.

It was the right thing to do.

Half a century later the town has the chance to build senior housing at Baron’s South — land we already own.

It will take considerably longer than 18 days — no doubt more than 18 months.

Once again, it’s the right thing to do.

The proposal — presented last week by 1st and 2nd Selectmen Gordon Joseloff and Shelley Kassen  at meetings of the P&Z, RTM Long Range Planning Committee and the Senior Services Committee — would involve 66 units of 1- and 2-bedroom rentals.  More than half would be available to people earning approximately $50,000.

The proposed Baron's South project. The senior housing and skilled care facilities are in blue, just east of the current Senior Center.

A “mansion” on the property — currently a deteriorating structures used to store library books — would become an 84-bed skilled nursing facility.

Also available:  assisted living services, such as meals, housekeeping and hospice care.  Shuttle service would be available between the senior housing and the current Senior Center.

The town would find a non-profit partner to assist in the project.

For too long we’ve farmed out our senior citizens — and affordable housing — to other towns and cities.  It’s past time to do our share.

Baron’s South is not Winslow Park, on the other side of Compo Road across US1.  The Baron’s terrain is tough — you can’t walk dogs there, or cross country ski.  Though the public has had access for years, it’s virtually unused.

Each event celebrating Longshore has had a common theme:  Imagine what this town would be like today if our politicians lacked the foresight — and will — to buy the property.

We already own Baron’s South.  Now let’s have the foresight — and will — to do something smart, and good, with it.