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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Senior Housing Stares Down Reality of P&Z Denial

By James Lomuscio

Martha Hauhuth, co-chair of the Baron’s South Committee, didn’t mince words when she spoke to the Finance, Long-Range Planning, and Health and Human Services committees of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight.

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Representative Town Meeting (RTM) committee members discuss the Baron’s South project tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“If we don’t get through the P&Z (Planning and Zoning Commission), we’re dead,” Hauhuth said about plans for senior housing complex that has been eight years in the making on the 22 acres of town-owned land known as Baron’s South. The P&Z will take up the issue again on Thursday, July 17.

At issue is a text amendment with changes to a zoning regulation passed in 2011 that would affect a total of 13 town-owned properties in Westport. The amendment’s nine requested changes were specific to Baron’s South, eight acres of which would be developed with 135 rental units and a 32-unit memory care facility.

The biggest change that caused concern at the P&Z public hearing June 19 was the reduction in the number of affordable units from 60 percent to 20 percent, plus 20 percent of the units for moderate income seniors. The remaining 60 percent would be at market rate.

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