Westporters have a lot to worry about. But — as of today — the 5-story, 200-unit housing complex proposed for the site of the Westport Inn is not one of them.
The property has been sold. The new owners — an investment group — are presumed to want to continue operations as a hotel.
The sale did not simply fall from the sky. First Selectman Jim Marpe and Planning and Zoning Commission chair Chip Stephens have worked to find a buyer. They hoped to find someone local, who understood the need to maintain an inn — and not add massive new housing on a small-footprint, already-crowded part of the Post Road.
Part of the initial housing proposal — which was withdrawn, after P&Z commissioners raised concerns — included “affordable housing” units. Developers have cited a state statute — 8-30g — mandating that 10% of every community’s housing stock be “affordable.”
Officially, Westport is around the 3% level. But because of the way the regulation is worded — housing built before 1990 does not count, for example, toward points for a 4-year moratorium from the law — we
actually do reach that threshold. may feel there is a sword hanging over us.
Other housing developments that involve 8-30g are in the works. One (temporarily withdrawn) is on Hiawatha Lane; another (flying under the radar so far) is on Post Road West, where several blighted buildings were recently torn down.
Those bear watching. But as of today, the Westport Inn no longer does.