Monday, August 29, 2005
Carolanne Curry, of the Save Saugatuck West Association, shows a map of properties purchased by the Norden Park developer in her neighborhood and predicts what homes could be purchased next for a potential housing project in Norwalk. About 50 residents—including several RTM members, state Sen. Judith Freedman, and Selectman John Izzo—attended a meeting Sunday night at Curry’s home regarding a potential housing development on the Norden site, which is on the Westport-Norwalk border. The project, which could feature more than 300 homes, may have an access driveway through the Hiawatha Lane neighborhood in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Posted 08/29/05 at 12:06 PM Permalink
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I attended this meeting. This is a serious matter. The developer is essentially block busting this neighborhood to allow for an access road.
This is an old established and thriving neighborhood that is being set upon. The developer will raze more than 12 Westport houses to then have access for 300+ units in Norwalk.
This in turn would mean over 1400 cars a day rumbling through a very small community. This would make this area unsafe for the residents, their children and destroy the character of their neighborhood.
The outlet would be Ferry Lane West and 136. This is already an over congested intersection right next to the 95 interchange. The roads cannot handle this. These new residents will also use Westport’s already over crowded train station.
This is an unaceptable situation that must be addressed immediately by our elected and soon to be elected officials. I would also suggest Westport officials contact Norwalk to sit down and discuss this matter.
I’d like to add that Carolaane Curry was well prepared for this meeting and the residents are ready to defend their community. Let’s all give them our support.
Matt is so right. I was there too. It’s hard to miss that this neighborhood, Saugatuck West, offers the kind of affordable housing we should be preserving. Here you have homes on less than half an acre where young families can buy their “starter homes”—or choose to stay for keeps. The very idea of a central connective road through the neart of this historic corner of our town threatens the integrity of this old neighborhood, and the continued existence of its affordable housing stock (not to mention the disruption to the lives of the people who live there). How ironic, considering that the topic of the most recent RTM meeting focused on a regulation pertaining to affordable housing.
Norwalk would get the housing and the taxes. Westport would get the traffic, and the destruction of one of our oldest neighborhoods with irreplaceable housing stock, where families have lived for generations.
The very notion of creating a main access road for +/-400 housing units, to exit through Ferry Lane West onto Route 136, at a point right near the railroad station and I-95, borders on the astounding. Before I could even enter this neighborhood (I wanted to see it prior to the meeting on Sunday night) I had to wait several minutes while two trucks blocked access on Ferry Land West. This was last Friday at about 10:30 a.m. Incredibly, according to what neighbors report, this is not atypical.
How can emergency vehicles count on access at times of need?
How can you build an access road when the main artery suffers from vehicular arteriosclerosis?
And how would this whole thing impact on traffic up and down Route 136?
Judy Starr, RTM District 1