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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

P&Z to Consider Relaxing Outdoor Eating Regulations

Planning & Zoning Director Laurence Bradley announced today that the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission has set April 29 for a public hearing on a commission-generated proposed text amendment that will provide a major relaxation of outdoor eating standards in Westport. 

Amendment No. 610 is intended to promote more outdoor dining for both restaurants and other retail food establishments throughout the town, a news release said.

The proposed text of the amendment is available on the town’s Web site or by contacting the Planning & Zoning Office.

At the public hearing, the application will be presented and the public is invited to provide testimony and comments on both the overall concept and the details of the proposal. 

Following a text amendment hearing, the commission considers the application in light of public input prior to adopting, modifying or rejecting it.

“This amendment is one of a series that the commission is reviewing to provide support for both the efforts to revitalize the downtown area and ease some of the restrictions on outdoor dining in general throughout Westport,” said Ron Corwin, Planning & Zoning chairman. 

“These are important matters that affect the quality of life in the entire town and the commission not only welcomes but seeks public comment and input.”

The commission is currently considering a number of possible text amendments including changes to regulations controlling the creation of restaurants, associated liquor establishments and outdoor special events for such things as non-profit fundraisers and community-based events. 

The commission is also looking to reduce regulatory requirements for home-based businesses. 

All of these amendments are in various stages of development by the commission.  When the commission has determined they are ready for consideration, a public hearing will be scheduled, the news release said.

“Some of the current regulations have been on the books for a very long time and should be reviewed,” Corwin said. 

“The public needs relief from complex and cumbersome regulations and the commission is working to deliver changes that simplify and enhance the way people live and work in Westport.”

It is expected there will be a series of additional hearings on these topics once the commission releases them for consideration, according to the release.

Anyone wishing to comment can speak in person at the public hearing, send a letter or e-mail to the Planning & Zoning Department before the hearing or do both, the news release said.

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Posted 03/31/10 at 07:46 PM  Permalink



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It would be wonderful to have more outdoor dining, and to be able to be more flexible to encourage it!!!

Posted by Tracy Flood on March 31, 2010 at 09:20 PM | #
 

Wow! Who would have thought?
And actually join the rest of the New England towns that give a damn about ambiance and how the town feels to people who live and shop there?
A possible first positive action under General Corwin’s dictatorial leadership.

Posted by Daniel Katz on April 01, 2010 at 08:55 AM | #
 

Bravo, something in the right direction. But allow me a caveat. How is it all to be enacted? Will the neighbors of these establishment have a fair and open opportunity for input and will they be protected movoing forward. Not all commercial establishments are solely in downtown. The issue is in the details, not the concept.

Posted by Matthew Mandell on April 02, 2010 at 12:45 PM | #