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Wilton Road Developer Sues, Says P&Z Prejudged Plan

By James Lomuscio

The developer denied a 19-unit, housing complex at 122 Wilton Road Jan. 10 is suing Westport under the state’s affordable housing statute 8-30g.

Richard K. Freedman, owner of Stamford-based Garden Homes Management Corp., filed an appeal with the Judicial District Stamford-Norwalk, demanding Westport’s Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) appear in Superior Court on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

This is the second time Garden Homes has filed suit against the town, using 8-30g. The statute allows developers to override local zoning regulations if a municipality does not have 10 percent of its housing stock deemed affordable, which Westport does not.

The first appeal was Feb. 4, 2016 after the P&Z denied a proposed 48-unit complex at the same 1.16-acre site fronting the Saugatuck River. In May of 2017, Hartford Superior Court Marshall Berger dismissed Garden Homes’ suit, saying the town had acted properly.

Spencer Platt on His Photography: ‘Reengaging People With the World’

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Spencer Platt, award-winning native Westport photographer, appeared in a talk at the Westport Arts Center (WAC) tonight with Lauren Walsh, who teaches the history of photography at The New School and New York University. Sitting alongside 27 of his photos on exhibit at WAC, Platt said, “What I try to do with my photography is reengage the people with the world.” “Fractured: Photographs by Spencer Platt” is the first solo exhibition of his works. Curated by art critic Kenneth Baker, it runs through March 2.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Spencer Platt: News Photography ‘Romantic Way to See the World’

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Spencer Platt, award-winning photographer for the Getty Images news agency and 1989 Staples High School graduate, tonight told an audience at the Westport Arts Center, where some of his photos are on display, he was drawn early on to his profession. “I love the news business,” he said. “It was a romantic way to see the world.” At right is his photo of a Nazi rally last year in Draketown, Georgia. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Squall Crawl

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Drivers make their way slowly across the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge in Westport’s center during Wednesday afternoon’s snow squall. A local TV meteorologist said it was the first time in a dozen years he had forecast a snow squall in the New York area. Wikipedia described the difference between a snow squall and a blizzard: “A snow squall is a sudden moderately heavy snow fall with blowing snow and strong, gusty surface winds. It is often referred to as a whiteout and is similar to a blizzard but is localized in time or in location and snow accumulations may or may not be significant.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com

Thursday, January 31, 2019


10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “Fractured: Photographs by Spencer Platt”
11 a.m. – 6 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “Liberty to Set Down: Migrants & Immigrants in Westport”
2:30 p.m. – Westport Senior Center – Westport Library Winter Film Series: “Clueless”
7 p.m. – Beth Israel of Westport/Norwalk Chabad (40 King St., Norwalk) – Evening of Loaves of Laughs (Circle of Friends Benefit)
7 p.m. – Westport Woman’s Club (44 Imperial Ave.) – WestportREADS 2019: Exploring Magical Realism with We Rise Storytelling Collective
7 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – Talk by award-winning photographer Spencer Platt
7:30 p.m. – Staples Cafeteria B – Board of Education Special Meeting (live on cable channel 78, Frontier channel 6021, & www.westportps.org)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Palmer: Electrical Issue at Bedford Middle School Resolved

UPDATE An electrical issue that impacted the heat at Bedford Middle School (BMS) has been resolved, Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer said tonight.

In several tweets, she said BMS and nearby Staples High School had their power interrupted earlier in the evening, and both went to generator power. 

“SHS back on grid now, but we have electricians en route to BMS as that school remains on generator power right now,” she said.

In a third tweet late tonight, she said: “Good news—got word team was able to fire up BMS boilers with some fancy wiring to the grid. School will be open at BMS tomorrow; bringing up the heat now to low 70s to warm school &  get ready for morning. Custodian on site for a bit, then monitor through normal remote sensors.”

Comings & Goings: Confirmed — Sundance to Main Street

Confirming a WestportNow report from last November (See WestportNow Nov. 9, 2018), Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. (ESRT) announced today that Sundance Holdings Group, LLC, Robert Redford’s retail brand, will open at 69-97 Main St.

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The site was previously occupied by Ann Taylor. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The space was formerly occupied by Ann Taylor, which closed in April 2018 after more than a 50-year presence in Westport. According to Westport real estate agent Skip Lane, the space has undergone extensive flood proofing.

An announcement said Sundance has signed a 3,920-square foot long-term lease. Sundance’s adjacent tenant lululemon also recently expanded its Main Street location to 5,645 square feet, it added.

“Sundance selected the best retail location on Westport’s Main Street,” said Thomas P. Durels, executive vice president, real estate, for ESRT.