Tag Archives: SIR Development

“06880” Podcast: Rob Haroun

If there’s one thing that gets all of Westport talking, it’s real estate development.

And there’s no one better to talk about it than Rob Haroun.

The other day, the president of SIR Development joined me on the Westport Library stage. He’s been a local builder for over 25 years — though that is actually his second career.

Rob and I chatted about everything home construction-related — zoning, architecture, trees — and about his community involvement too. It was a very informative half hour.

Click below for the full interview:

[OPINION] Stop Lighting Up Cottage Lane!

Last year, a new housing development at 1480 Post Road East replaced the old Roger’s Septic business.

Neighbors behind the site — on roads off Maple Avenue South — worked with the builder during the design phase to make sure their concerns were addressed. The 1- and 2-bedroom condo-style apartments and townhouses are now up, and occupied.

However, for several months nearby residents have complained about bright lights shining onto their property. Chris Grimm wrote to the Planning & Zoning Commission, and copied “06880”:

A lighting plan has been submitted for your review for 1480 Post Road East. The applicant has submitted this as a modification and requested this as part of a work session, therefore not allowing public attendance.

As president of the Cottage Lane Homeowners Association, I urge you to reject this application.

Lights were installed without the appropriate P&Z review (or public input), and violate Westport regulations for light spillage on adjoining properties. The lights violate rown policies that require lighting be at a low level, downward directed, and screened.

The 2nd-floor placement certainly is not “minimal height from the ground,” the lights are most certainly “visible from above 6 feet from the ground at the property lines,” and the “glare is not shielded from abutting properties.”

Lights at 1480 Post Road East. (Photo/Chris Grimm)

I urge you to come to Cottage Lane some evenings to see for yourselves how these lights (which stay on overnight, until 6:15 a.m.) fail to conform with town regulations, and disrupt neighbors’ lives.

In a town where residents argue vehemently about lights at sports fields, which would not be on every night and would be turned off at a decent hour, we look at these lights that spill into our yards and our homes and steal our night times, every single evening.

Almost all of the homes in the Cottage Lane Homeowners Association are negatively impacted by this lighting. Two directly look at the lighting from their living rooms and 2nd-floor bedrooms. Two others are even closer, with lights shining into the backs of both houses. The view of #4 is especially jarring, as if a spotlight is aimed on the back of that house.

The houses at the corner of Cottage and Maple are impacted by the lights on the westernmost building, which directly faces them. Given the higher elevation of those properties, they seem to look downward on the bright lights, further evidence of the lack of appropriate screening.

A front view of 1480 Post Road East.

I believe that this is a simple matter of enforcing regulations as they are written, and rejecting any plan that does not conform. I also believe that you should look at this as a “clean slate” project. To allow the developer to tweak a conceptually bad plan later, simply because he inappropriately installed it, would be to reward him for not following the proper procedures. The developer should start from scratch to create an appropriate and compliant plan, regardless of what he previously, inappropriately, installed.

“06880” reached out to SIR Development. President Rob Haroun declined to comment. The P&Z will ocnsider the matter on March 28. For correspondence and other materials related to this, click here; then scroll down to “Work Session Items: New Business.”