Tag Archives: Garden Homes

Wilton Road/Kings Highway Apartment Proposal: It’s Back!

Just over a year ago, the state Appellate Court denied a plan to build a 7-story, 48-unit apartment complex at one of the busiest, most environmentally sensitive spots in town.

The ruling was based on grave concerns about safety, and damage to wetlands adjacent to the 1.16-acre parcel at 122 Wilton Road — right at the Kings Highway North intersection.

Undeterred, the owner has come up with a smaller plan. Garden Homes of Stamford wants to build a 19-unit, 3-story, 20,078-square foot rental complex. With 31 parking spots at grade, that would total 4 stories.

There would be 4 1-bedroom units, 8 2-bedroom units, and 7 with 3 bedrooms.

The site plan for 122 Wilton Road. Wilton Road is at the left; it intersects with Kings Highway North (Willows Medical Complex location) at the top.

The project is being submitted to the Planning & Zoning Commission with 2 affordability plans. The default sets aside 30% of the units as “affordable,” according to state 8-30g regulations. An alternative plan offers 60% as affordable — “if certain conditions are met by the P&Z and other Westport town bodies and staff.”

The goal of the project, Garden Homes says, is “to enable low and moderate income families with children the opportunity to live in Westport and have access to its excellent public schools and amenities.”

The developer submitted a traffic impact study. It included 2 proposed roadway improvements: lengthening the westbound left-turn lane for Kings Highway North by 50 feet, and adjusting the traffic signal at that intersection.

“With these improvements,” the report said, delays there “during the critical weekday peak hours will be shorter than those under the 2015 existing conditions.”

Traffic concerns were only part of the opposition to Garden Homes’ previous proposal.

Another reason was the location: abutting the Taylortown Salt Marsh.

Safety was another major issue. Westport Fire Department officials worried about access to the site.

Former fire chief Andrew Kingsbury reviewed the new proposals. Many concerns remain.

Access is still a major issue: The emergency fire lane is not wide enough, has a tight turning radius, and can only be approached from the south. The access driveway on the east side is also too tight to accommodate Westport’s aerial apparatus.

Kingsbury adds that congestion in the area during rush hour hampers firefighting efforts.

The developer no doubt hopes that a scaled-down version of the previous proposal — and inclusion of 8-30g housing — will carry the day.

“Garden Homes” is a bucolic-sounding name. But I’m betting the reception to this new proposal will not be all peaches and cream.

(Hat tip: Wendy Pieper)

Final Court Denies Wilton Road Affordable Housing Appeal

The corner of Wilton Road and Kings Highway North will not become clogged with traffic. The fire department will not have to worry about access to a potentially dangerous site. The Saugatuck River wetlands are safe.

Those are 3 direct consequences of a judicial decision, announced today by Westport town attorney Ira Bloom.

Connecticut’s Appellate Court has denied a petition by Garden Homes. The Stamford-based developer contested a May decision in Hartford Superior Court that dismissed their appeal of a unanimous decision by Westport’s Planning & Zoning Commission. In February 2016, the board denied Garden Homes’ application to build a 6-story, 48-unit apartment complex on one of the busiest, most environmentally sensitive corners of Westport.

The Superior Court judge’s decision noted grave concerns about safety, and damage to wetlands adjacent to the 1.16-acre parcel at 122 Wilton Road.

“I am very pleased with this decision from the Appellate Court,” Bloom said.  “The Trial Court’s decision upholding our denial of this application now stands.  The Planning & Zoning Commission, its staff, First Selectman Jim Marpe,  our consultants, and all the citizens who participated in the hearing deserve our thanks.”

122 Wilton Road — site of the proposed 6-story, 48-unit apartment building — sits at the corner of Kings Highway North. The property abuts the Taylortown Salt Marsh.