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Friday, August 08, 2003

Planning and Zoning Commission Denies

Planning and Zoning Commission Denies Without Prejudice ARS Application
The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission Thursday night denied without prejudice a controversial application by ARS Partners Inc. of Fairfield for a 22-unit clustered housing development abutting Partrick Road and Newtown Turnpike.

The commission, by a 7-0 vote,  said the applicant needed to provide additional environmental testing information about its plan to develop the 56-acre parcel which contains about 36 acres of wetlands.

Opponents of the single-family housing development, called The Reserve at Poplar Plains, hailed the commissions decision as a victory for the entire town.

“This is a victory not just for the Partrick Wetlands community, but for all of Westport,” said Matthew Mandell, a spokesperson for the Patrick Wetlands Preservation Fund, a group that has led opposition to the plan. “The health and well being of our residents should never be in jeopardy or in question.

“A small grassroots movement was embraced by the entire town and stopped a freight train. The next goal is to remove it from the tracks.”

Town boards and commissions have been considering the latest plan of development of the area, formerly known as the F. D. Rich property, for almost two years. The land is zoned open space residential development, a special zone that allows clusters in exchange for preserving the wetlands and open space.

The commission acted after earlier in the evening hearing a discussion of a proposal by the members of the Downtown Merchants Association to improve the downtown area by adding parking as well as mixed use retail and apartment space on Elm Street.

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Posted 08/08/03 at 03:44 AM  Permalink



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