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Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Coalition For Westport Picks Three P&Z Candidates Image
CFW candidates: (l-r) Howard Lathrop, Glen Payne, and Denise Torve. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The Coalition for Westport (CFW), a minority party that touts responsible growth as its goal and favored senior housing on Baron’s South, today announced its candidates for the Planning & Zoning Commission (P&Z) in November.

The candidates are: Denise Torve, CFW chairwoman, Glenn Payne, CFW deputy chairman, and Howard Lathrop, party treasurer. Lathrop, a Democrat, had previously served eight years on the P&Z (2005-2013).

Already, the town’s Democratic Town Committee has nominated Paul Lebowitz to run for the P&Z in the hope of winning a majority, which now stands at four Republicans and three Democrats.

The Republican Town Committee has nominated four P&Z incumbents—Chairman Chip Stephens, Vice Chairman Jack Whittle, Al Gratrix and Catherine Walsh—for reelection.

In today’s announcement, CFW officials noted that Torve, a Democrat, and Payne, unaffiliated, were the party’s P&Z unsuccessful candidates in the November 2013 election. They ran with former P&Z member David Press, a Republican.

At the time, Torve said the primary reason for the CFW was “an inadequate P&Z Commission that pays little attention to planning.” She said the same concerns hold true today.

“CFW believes that planning should be an integral part of the P&Z’s work,” said Torve. “Our goal is a newly constituted and creative P&Z that will play a pivotal role in planning for the future. Major decisions taken by the P&Z since the 2013 election have only heightened our concerns as to its decision-making process.”

CFW, she added, favors improving Westport “while maintaining the town’s unique character and charm.”

“These goals are not mutually exclusive,” Torve said. “The creation of new or improved facilities do not threaten the character of the town; with careful planning, they benefit the community. A great town can be even greater with constructive input from a creative and energized P&Z.”

The CFW favored overturning a P&Z decision in March declaring the town-owned Baron’s South open space, thus ending planning for senior housing on the property.

“We believe the decision is troubling for a host of reasons, and its action says more about the commission’s disregard for both procedural niceties and for the best interests of the town than it does about the issues surrounding the property itself,” Torve said at the time.

If any of the one Democrat and three CFW candidates seeking seats on P&Z is elected, it would end Republican control of the body. And it could clear the way for reconsideration of the rezoning of Baron’s South and construction of the planned senior housing adjacent to the Westport Center for Senior Activities.


Posted 09/01/15 at 05:07 PM  Permalink


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Wishing them the very best of luck. I voted for the Reublican incumbents in 2013 and we all know how that has turned out.

Posted by Bob Chandler on September 01, 2015 at 09:37 PM | #

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