Tag Archives: West Parish Road

ARPA Request: Funds For Low-Density Affordable Housing

Westport will receive $8.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Over $750,000 had already been approved for public health, tree trimming, network protection, bus shelters and COVID-related expenses.

This week the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) approved $1.3 million for the Burying Hill Beach jetty, and $200,000 for 12 local arts non-profits. In the pipeline: downtown enhancements.

Next Wednesday (February 9, 7:30 p.m., Town Hall auditorium), the Board of Finance will consider a request for $150,000. The funds would support pre-development activities for low-density affordable housing at Post Road East, by West Parish Road. The request includies architectural fees, engineering site work, surveys, and traffic and environmental studies.

The parcel is on state Department of Transportation land, adjacent to Walgreens. Vehicles and equipment are stored there now.

Part of the Post Road East site, between Walgreens and West Parish Road.

The request comes from Westport’s Department of Human Services.  It describes “approximately 20 or more multi-family housing units in a desirable location, without high-density 8-30g project proposals from the private sector, which would typically include and additional 80+ market-rate units.”

DHS says the ARPA funds would help Westport gain moratorium points “to curtail 8-30g applications, which often result in dense housing and zoning battles.”

The proposal adds that “access to quality, affordable housing creates jobs, enhances economic development opportunities, and helps address the long history of segregated communities in (Connecticut) by creating viable options for new families to live in Westport.”

Under state law, only 3.6% of the town’s housin stock currently qualifies as “affordable.”

The DHS proposal links the funding request with ARPA’s aim — to support state, local and tribal governments’ responses to, and recovery from, the pandemic — by noting that the higher-income households have weathered COVID “without significant income losses, low-interest rates, and housing supply constraints”; in fact, it says, home values have soared.

Meanwhile, “many low-income renters and homeowners struggle with lost employment and income and are behind on their housing payments.”

The Human Services report concludes, “it is challenging to fund this development through traditional HUD and CAFA sources because it is so small in scale. Without assistance from the Town — via ARPA or other funds — a project of this scale isn’t feasible.

“Today, we have an opportunity to create the type of housing needed in Westport — quality, affordable housing for families that is centrally located with access to transportation resources and meets our community’s needs.”

(The February 9 Board of Finance meeting will be livestreamed, for those unable to be at Town Hall. Go to http://www.westportct.gov; select the “How Do I?”” heading, then “Watch Town Meetings.” It will also be shown on Optimum Channel 79 and Frontier Channel 6020. Comments to be read during the public comment period may be emailed to BOFcomments@westportct.gov, with full name and address. Click here for the full agenda.)

Photo Challenge #218

If Westport has too much of anything — besides people who don’t think the rules of the road apply to them — it’s rules of the road.

Like stop signs.

Every few feet, we (are supposed to) stop. It’s the law.

But, as alert “06880” reader and longtime Greens Farms resident Mary Ann Meyer noticed, there’s at least one place in Westport where only one set of drivers stops. Cross traffic breezes by.

Her photo (click here to see) was last week’s Photo Challenge. It shows the Hillandale/West Parish Road intersection, just west of Greens Farms Congregational Church.

Beth Handa, Mary Maynard, Tom Lowrie, Eve Potts and Lawrence Zlatkin all nailed it.

But there were plenty of other guesses. The spectacularly confusing Weston Road/North Main Street/Weston Road/Easton Road intersection; Clinton Avenue (near Ford Road); Roseville Road (at both Whitney Road and Cross Highway), and Newtown Turnpike/Woodcock Lane were all possible candidates.

Be careful out there.

This week’s Photo Challenge was taken a couple of weeks ago. It may be hard to remember, but it did snow once or twice this winter. Westport was — briefly — a wonderland.

If you know where you would have seen this scene, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Michael Tomashefsky)