An online petition opposing the proposed 4-story, 48-unit apartment complex at the corner of Wilton Road and Kings Highway North is picking up steam.
In its first 2 days, nearly 200 Westporters asked the Planning and Zoning Commission to deny an application to build on the environmentally sensitive, heavily trafficked site.
Petition organizer Adrian Little — a 19-year Westport resident — lives a mile away. He says, “People in Green’s Farms and Coleytown should be just as concerned about this as those who live nearby. We have only one town.”
Little notes that most residents signing the petition also leave comments. They cite 3 overwhelming concerns: traffic, the environment and aesthetics.
The fact that some of the units will be deemed “affordable housing” is not an issue, Little notes.
“No one is troubled by the notion of affordable housing,” he says. “The problem is the location, bulk, and sheer lack of concern for our environment.”
(To see the petition, click here. For more background on the proposed apartment complex, click here.)
The Taylortown Salt Marsh abuts the proposed apartment complex at 122 Wilton Road.
Many Westporters have heard of it. Not many know what it really says, means or does.
8-30g is the formal designation of a Connecticut statute — the Affordable Housing Law — mandating that 10% of a town’s housing stock be “affordable.” It compels local planning and zoning boards to justify any denial of an “affordable housing” application. It’s pretty powerful.
And — with Westport’s “affordable” housing stock right now designated as 2.75% — it’s the engine behind a couple of big development proposals. One — for 186 units — is on Hiawatha Lane. The other is on Post Road East, where 200 units are planned for the site of the Westport Inn.
A drawing of the proposed 200-unit apartment complex, planned for the current site of the Westport Inn on Post Road East near the Southport line.
If you want to know more about 8-30g — and you should — then get yourself to tomorrow’s RTM Planning and Zoning committee public informational meeting (Tuesday, January 20, 7:30 p.m., Town Hall auditorium).
Town attorney Ira Bloom, P&Z Department director Larry Bradley and State Representative Jonathan Steinberg will be there to answer questions.
Whether they’ll be able to allay concerns is another matter entirely.