Tag Archives: Compo Cove

[CLARIFICATION] P&Z: No Full Basements In Flood Zones; Piers, Pilings Remain Only Options

Westport Planning & Zoning Commission chair Danielle Dobin says that — despite the implication in today’s “06880” story that the P&Z is considering a change in flood zone regulations — the pre-application hearing resulted in a resounding “no.”

Piers and pilings will continue to be the only options for homeowners living near the water.

On Thursday, 2 local design professionals presented a potential amendment to the current flood regulations. The changes would have permitted filling properties to FEMA-mandated elevations, in lieu of raising residential dwellings on piers or pilings.

P&Z staff and commissioners expressed concerns about the effect of foundations and basements on subsurface draining, and neighboring properties on lower grades.

They also addressed the impact of future sea level rise, and the departure from best practices that support raising flood-prone structures over raising the grade of flood-prone lots.

Staff and commissions noted that fill in flood zones is specifically discouraged by FEMA regulations.

Current zoning regulations regarding fill and basements in flood zones will not change, Dobin emphasized.

A raised home on Compo Cove.

Flood Zone Change: Full Basements Instead Of Piers And Pilings?

It’s not easy living in a flood zone. Superstorm Sandy made the risks real. Since then, dozens of Westporters living near the water have raised their homes, using piers or pilings.

That may no longer be the only option.

Gloria Gouveia reports: At last Thursday’s Planning & Zoning Commission meeting, 2 local design professionals presented a potential amendment to Westport’s flood zone requirements.

The pre-application process gives applicants the opportunity to explore ideas with the P&Z in a brief, informal, non-binding discussion, saving the time and expense of a formal application.

Citing a desire to provide full basements for homes in some Special Flood Hazard Zones, the proposal would permit filling properties to FEMA-mandated elevations in lieu of raising residential dwellings on piers or pilings.

A home being raised on Compo Cove.

The applicants testified that the benefits associated with raising the height of the land and the use of flood-proofing, versus elevating the structure, included: more (basement) floor area: egress at grade: enhanced flood protection and improved esthetics.

Typically, residential construction in SFHZs requires elevating and supporting structures with piers or pilings that are less of an impediment to flood waters than traditional foundations.

P&Z staff and several commissioners expressed concerns about the effect of foundations and basements on subservice drainage, and neighboring properties at lower grades.

Other issues addressed by staff members included the impact of future sea level rise, and the departure from best practices which support raising flood prone structures over raising the grade of flood prone lots.

Current zoning regulations prohibit the use and/or placement of fill for any purpose in Special Hazard Flood Zones.

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Compo Cove couple (Photo/JC Martin)

JC Martin’s Westport

As spring’s wonders linger in Westport, JC Martin grabbed his camera.

The talented photographer documented this gorgeous season — its natural beauty, and some of the folks enjoying it. 

Here are his images, from the past few days.

Parker Harding Plaza blossoms.

Parker Harding, by the Saugatuck River.

Another view of downtown.

Musicians at Don Memo …

… and in front of the restaurant.

Last summer, Homes with Hope youngsters painted this mural on Compo Road South.

The vest pocket park, on the walking path to Compo Cove.

Al fresco at Arezzo. (Photos/JC Martin)

 

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A few days ago, off Compo Beach … (Photo/Thomas Purcell)

… and just before the snow, at Compo Cove (Photo/Amy Schneider)

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Built over 100 years ago, 44 Compo Cove has survived the Spanish flu, COVID and stormy weather. It’s challenged now by stronger storms, sea rise and other changes.

Schlaet’s Point, in today’s snow

Another view of Schlaet’s Point

The Hillspoint Road jetty

Compo Beach neighbors (Photos/Betsy P. Kahn)

Northrops: New Fence Is Temporary

The fence at Sherwood Mill Pond is temporary, says Jeff Northrop Jr.

His family owns the strip of land where a fence was erected yesterday. It’s on the north side of the walking path between Old Mill and Compo Cove.

The temporary fence keeps people and pets off of the property while water quality monitoring tests are conducted.

The testing — which may take a year — will examine eutrophication, Northrop says. That occurs when a body of water becomes overly enriched with minerals and nutrients, which induces excessive algae growth. The process may result in oxygen depletion of the water, which harms fish and other wildlife.

“Protecting marine resources starts with sound agricultural and waste management practices,” Northrop notes.

Sherwood Mill Pond. (Drone photo/Brandon Malin)

Sherwood Mill Pond was in bad shape in the 1970s. It took decades of work to get it where it is today.

The fence will prevent dogs, and humans like fishermen and crabbers, from accessing the pond, which could impact the testing.

If a permanent fence is needed — for liability purposes, and/or to keep hordes of youngsters from jumping off the bridge (as they did last loudly and constantly last summer, to the annoyance of neighbors) — Northrop says it will be more aesthetically pleasing than the chain link one that’s there now.

Temporarily.

The new fence at Sherwood Mill Pond.

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Christmas tree at the new town pocket park near Compo Cove (Photo/Amy Schneider)

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The first snow of the season:

Compo Cove (Photo/John Videler for Videler Photography)

A serene scene near King’s Highway (Photo/Rowene Weems)

Audrey Hertzel’s pup Ellie Mae — who turned 1 just 2 days ago — enjoys the snowy holiday decorations. (Photo/Audrey Hertzel)

Henry on the Cub Cadet (Photo/Brian McGunagle)

Wilkinson girls wake up to a snow day near Old Road (Photo/Carolyn Wilkinson)

Off to work — or play (Photo/Lauri Weiser)

Lansdowne gazebo (Photo/Lauri Weiser)

Pair of chairs (Photo/Lauri Weiser)

No outdoor dining today (Photo/Ellen Wentworth)

A job awaits (Photo/Lauri Weiser)

The scene last night near Long Lots Elementary School

 

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Compo Cove (Photo/Patricia McMahon)