It took 5 hours.
But 4 months after developers presented a text amendment allowing a retail/residential/hotel complex in Saugatuck, the Planning & Zoning Commission voted 5-1 to approve it.
The decision — which came after changes in height, setbacks and floor area coverage — is a key step in the redevelopment of the train station neighborhood. ROAN Ventures can now apply for a site plan approval of its Hamlet at Saugatuck project.
P&Z approval requires that 20% of the slips at any new marina be available for free public use, and that there be paddleboard and kayak tie-ups; design standards beyond those required for a typical special permit including maintaining the New England coastal village aesthetic reflected in the most recent renderings, and no extra height without significant public outdoor areas along the river.
The text amendment includes the rectangle between Riverside Avenue, Railroad Place, Franklin Street and Charles Street, plus land on Riverside Avenue, and the private parking lot above Luciano Park now used for boat storage.
ROAN envisions The Hamlet as an economic engine for residents and visitors, and a gateway to the rest of the town. The concept includes:
- A boutique hotel with rooms, condo-type residences, pools, and underground parking.
- New shops and restaurants, featuring local artisans.
- A year-round gourmet market on the now-private railroad parking lot, with local vendors.
- A marina.
- A boardwalk along the river similar to Bartaco’s, with the goal of connecting Saugatuck and Westport via waterway.
- Re-skinning and beautification of the 21 Charles Street office building — often called “the ugliest” in Westport.
Senator Richard Blumenthal is the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston’s guest this Friday (December 16, 10 a.m., Westport Library). The event is open to the public.
The senator will discuss a range of topics. Afterward, former 1st Selectman Jim Marpe will lead a Q-and-A.
Why schlep all the way to Stew Leonard’s for a menorah lighting?
We’ve got one right here in Westport!
The 2nd night of Hanukkah will be celebrated next Monday (December 19, 7 p.m.), outside Trader Joe’s
The lighting will be led by Rabbis Levi Stone (director of the Chabad Schneerson Center) and Yehoshua Hecht (Beth Israel Chabad(.
The ceremony includes live music. Chanukah gelt and cookies, doughnuts and dreidels will be distributed to all. For more information, call 203-635-4118.
The Town of Westport posted this photo on social media:
It shows local and store officials celebrating Lux Bond & Green’s just-in-time-for-the-holidays renovation. Congratulations, of course!
But I am sure every downtown shopper — and every other merchant in Brooks Corner — joins me in asking: “Can you please get rid of those 3 valuable parking spots marked (ridiculously and archaically) ‘Reserved parking Lux Bond & Green curbside pickup’?”
Aztec Tw0-Step 2.0 — featuring Westporters Rex Fowler, Dodie Pettit and friends — headlines a December 16 (7:45 p.m.) show at Fairfield Theater.
Click here for tickets, and more information on these folk/rock legends.
From folk-rock to jazz: Harvie S. — an award-winning bassist, educator, composer, arranger, and producer — stars at this week’s Jazz at the Post (Thursday, December 15, shows at 7:30 and 8:45 p.m.; dinner at 6:30 p.m.).
He’s joined by drummer Jason Tiemann, Norwalk native and keyboardist Rob Aries, and saxophonist Greg “The Jazz Rabbi” Wall.
There’s a $15 cover. Reservations are strongly recommended: JazzattthePost@gmail.com.
Tom Kretsch celebrates his birthday this Saturday (December 17, 4 to 6 p.m.) with an art opening.
Gordon Fine Arts (1701 Post Road East) hosts the talented Westport photographer and his new exhibit “The Color of Water: Capturing the Sound and Beyond.”
Tom invites everyone to see his serene images, enjoy cake, and meet interesting people. For more on his work, click here.
Congratulations to Barry Beattie. The Staples High School girls soccer coach has been named New England region Coach of the Year by United Soccer Coaches, the 30,000-member group of professional, college, high school and club coaches. He is now in contention for national Coach of the Year honors, to be announced at the organization’s annual banquet next month in Philadelphia.
This fall, Beattie led the Wreckers to their 2nd straight state championship. With a strong core of returning players, the future looks very bright for both Beattie and his team.
Today’s fascinating “Westport … Naturally” close-up of a working spider web comes from Matt Murray:
And finally … in honor of the great photo above: