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Real Estate Report: A Look Back and Forward

By Judy Szablak

Ask many of the real estate agents in Westport about 2014, and they will tell you, “business was down.” 

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Featured Home: This home at 6 Harbor Road is listed at $2,395,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Raveis Southport/Snyder & Pritchard Homes

While that may hold true for overall units sold, the sales price for new construction saw a double digit increase on average, and that’s according to statistics gleaned from the Greater Fairfield County Multiple Listing Service. 

Existing home sales remained relatively the same price-wise with no loss of equity.

The highest priced sale in 2014 was at 4 Charmers Landing for $7.6 million, and 20 Wassell Lane sold for the lowest price in town at just $185,000.

Downtown Master Plan Draft: Looks Good, but Not Final

By James Lomuscio

Melissa Kane, who heads Westport’s Downtown Steering Committee (DSC), said today she is pleased with the direction of the long awaited, downtown master plan draft submitted by outside consultant RBA Group, Inc.—but there’s still work to be done.

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Melissa Kane reminds tonight’s RTM meeting of the “open house” on the draft plan on Wednesday, Jan 28 from 4 to 9 p.m. at Town Hall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“It certainly isn’t 100 percent there yet, but it definitely seems to represent a lot of what Wetsporters have been talking about for the past nine months,” Kane said. “RBA is really trying to come up with a vision for the downtown, a Westport for the future that maintains a lot of what we love about the past. That’s the direction we’re going.

“There are certainly changes to be made, but I’m pleased,” she added.

In addition to the DSC poring over the draft, the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) will review it in a scheduled work session Jan. 15. The DSC also plans a public, open house at Town Hall from 4 to 9 p.m. on Jan. 28. Meanwhile, the public can comment on the website where the draft will be posted.

Downtown Steering Committee Hears Draft Plan

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The Westport Downtown Steering Committee met today to consider a draft of the Downtown Master Plan prepared by the RBA Group. Among the suggestions was a new Library Lane connecting Jesup Road to the Westport Library and potentially expanding it over a new vehicular bridge to the Imperial Avenue parking lot. Details of the draft will be posted to www.downtownwestportct.com. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Snow Running

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The cold and snowy weather today did not deter Westporters Maureen Lynch (l) and Karen Jacobs from their daily jog along Compo Road South.  Jacobs, who completed the Boston Marathon in 2014, said she is training for her participation once again this year, scheduled for April 20.  Lynch, self-described as Jacobs’ training partner, said, “We run a variety of distances together about five days a week.” The women said they had about a half mile to go on their six-mile run today.  “It’s great weather for running except you have to watch for ice patches,” Jacobs said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Malloy Activates Severe Cold Weather Protocol

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today announced he has activated the state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol in anticipation of temperatures in the teens and single digits and wind chills below zero over the next few days and nights.

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There was a dusting of snow today in Westport with temperatures in the low 20s as Malloy activated the severe cold weather protocol. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

The protocol is effective beginning today and will remain in effect through Saturday.

“We must continue to protect the most vulnerable during these severe cold weather outbreaks,” said Malloy.  “I urge anyone in need of shelter to call 2-1-1 and encourage local communities to consider opening warming centers or other facilities to assist people in need.”

While activated, the protocol directs the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP), the Department of Social Services (DSS), the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), and the Department of Housing (DOH) to coordinate with 2-1-1 and Connecticut’s network of shelters to ensure that the state’s most vulnerable populations are protected from the severe cold weather.

Three Held for Passing Counterfeit Money

Westport Police Monday night arrested three out-of-state suspects for passing counterfeit $100 bills at Stop & Shop and two Walgreens locations in town and for the possession a large number of bogus bills, police said.

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Held for passing bogus bills: (l-r) Leslie Canales, Anthony Canales, and Jada Robles. Westport Police photos

Arrested were Anthony Canales, 27,  and Leslie Canales, 24, of the Bronx, and Jada Robles, 22, of Newark, N.J.

Each is currently being held in lieu of a $50,000 bond, facing 24 counts of first-degree forgery, 24 counts of first-degree conspiracy to commit forgery, two counts of sixth-degree larceny and two counts of conspiracy to commit sixth-degree larceny.

According to Lt. Eric Woods, a Stop & Shop employee at 1790 Post Road East encountered a male suspect attempting to pass a counterfeit $100 bill at about 7:45 p.m. The suspect then left the store, proceeding in a vehicle to Walgreens nearby at 1870 Post Road East.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


8 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – TEAM Westport
8:45 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Muncipal Employee Pension Plan
9:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Downtown Steering Committee Special Work Session
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “Perception Illusion MAGIC”
10 a.m. – Westport Library – Book Chat
Noon – Town Hall Room 309 – Arts Advisory Committee
1 p.m. – Westport Library – Writing 101: Introductory Course for Fiction & Non-fiction
2 p.m. – Westport Library – WestportREADS Movie: “James Joyce: So This is Dyoublong?”
4 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Westport Library – Drop-in Tech Help
6 p.m. – Westport Library – Business Special: Setting Goals & Staying on Track
7 p.m. – Terrain (561 Post Road East) – WestportREADS 2015 Dine Around Town: Dublin! at Terrain
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Representative Town Meeting Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Landon Proposes $113.29M Budget, Up 3.75%

Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon tonight presented to the Board of Education a $113,294,493 proposed budget for 2015-16, a 3.75 percent increase over this year’s operating budget.

Landon said essential drivers of the increase were recommended instructional plans and programs “and our facilities needs, consistent with board goals and the recommendations of NESC (Northeast Education Services Cooperative).”

The school board plans to spend all of Wednesday poring over the proposed budget, the first step in a lengthy process that will involve Board of Education and Board of Finance reviews and approvals, and finally a Representative Town Meeting vote in the spring

“I think is an excellent first step,” said Michael Gordon, board chairman, who called Landon’s budget “academically forward looking and responsible fiscally.”