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Friday, July 18, 2014

Deeply Divided P&Z OKs Kemper-Gunn Move

A deeply divided Westport Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) tonight gave the okay to proceed with moving the 1885-built Kemper-Gunn House to the town-owned Baldwin Parking Lot to save it from destruction.

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Plans call for the Kemper-Gunn House to be moved from its 35 Church Lane location to a corner of the Baldwin Parking Lot. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The vote to issue a positive report on First Selectman Jim Marpe’s request to use town property for the move was 4 in favor (Hodge, Whittle, Vebell, Lessing), 2 opposed (Walsh, Gratrix), and 1 abstention (Stephens).

“This has been the most painful thing I’ve addressed since I’ve been on the commission,” said Stephens, the commission chair. “I just don’t feel really good about this. I want to save that house, but I feel like we are being held hostage.”

The commission had asked the Kemper-Gunn Advisory Committee to seek better terms of the 98-year lease with Westport developer David Waldman and his partners. But members clearly were not satisfied with what the committee was able to achieve.

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