Tag Archives: Green’s Farms United

Morningside Drive South Housing Issue Is Settled

One of Westport’s most controversial housing issues has apparently been settled.

With far less fanfare than it originally generated.

An email from Green’s Farms United says that last month, the developer and town negotiated a settlement about 20-26 Morningside Drive South. The property — directly opposite Greens Farms Elementary School, formerly owned by artists Walter and Naiad Einsel — was the site of a proposed 8-30g (affordable housing regulation) development.

The previously proposed development at 26 South Morningside Drive.

Green’s Farms United representatives — including an attorney, engineer and “GFU intervenors” — were then invited to meet with the town attorney and other officials to review the proposal. The GFU group provided input regarding the engineering and conservation easement landscape elements prior to the final agreement.

On May 23, GFU says, the settlement was approved by a judge. The 8-30g application was withdrawn the same day. (Click here for the full document.)

The Einsels’ house at 26 Morningside Drive South.

Key points from the settlement include:

  • The studio will be moved from 20 Morningside Drive South to the same lot as the historic home, which will remain where it currently is. Both buildings will be renovated, sold as one lot and considered the “new” historic district. GFU says the newly created historic district has greater legal protections under the settlement stipulation than the previous Einsel Historic District.
  • 26 Morningside Drive South will be subdivided into 3 lots. One is the Historic Home Studio; the 2 additional lots will have new homes.
  • The 2 center driveways will be next to each other in the location of the current driveway. They will be designed to look like one, giving the appearance of only 3 driveways on the property.
  • The 20 Morningside Drive South lot will have 1 new home.
  • The “Doll House” barn/shed located in the wetlands area will be removed.
  • Extensive planting will be done, with particular focus on the riparian buffer/wetlands areas abutting Muddy Brook
  • The developer is legally bound to adhere to the terms of the settlement stipulation, which will be enforced by the town and the court should any variance occur.

Green’s Farms United thanked supporters for their help during the long process.

Green’s Farms United: Neighbors Band Together

Greens Farms means many things, to many people.

It’s filled with rolling hills, old homes, a small beach, a friendly train station and post office, and a stately elementary school.

That school sits on the northern edge of the neighborhood. It’s an area that residents feel is under siege.

Just across the Post Road, a 94-unit apartment building is quickly filling up. Twelve apartments have been constructed on the site of the former Geiger’s property, with 32 assisted living apartments being built next door.

The bank/office complex at the Post Road/North Morningside corner has just been sold. That too may be converted into apartments.

Now 19 townhouses have been proposed for 20-26 South Morningside — the Historic District directly opposite Greens Farms Elementary School.

Green’s Farms United created this map to show recent and planned housing developments near Greens Farms School.

A group called Green’s Farms United has had enough.

Energized families created a website and GoFundMe page. They’re on Facebook and Instagram. They organized an email list, alerting Westporters about upcoming hearings.

They hired an environmental engineer. And a lawyer.

They’re mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it anymore.

They want everyone to know what’s coming up — and what’s come before.

They’ve seen the effects after the Morningside South developer removed trees near Muddy Brook in 2017: soil erosion and flooding increased.

But something else happened.

“We started as a group of Greens Farms families, concerned about the 20-26 Morningside Drive South future,” says one of the organizers, Aurea de Souza.

“We are now a group of friends and neighbors fighting for a cause, while enjoying and appreciating meeting so many incredible people on the way.”

They take heart from neighbors on the other side of town, who are battling the proposed 6-story, 81-unit apartment complex between Lincoln and Cross Streets, off Post Road West.

They are Green’s Farms United.

That’s more than just their name.

It’s their neighborhood.

And their lives.

The current view of 20-26 Morningside Drive South (left), directly opposite Greens Farms Elementary School, and an overlay of where the proposed 19 townhouses would be built.