Friday, August 12, 2022

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Coalition Wants Signs on Properties Before P&Z

Regulations require that signs be posted on properties to be demolished or applying for a liquor permit. Now a Westport group wants similar signs posted for many other requests.

The Coalition for Westport (CFW), a political party aimed at responsible growth in town, filed an amendment to Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) regulations with that requirement affecting applications to land use bodies so that neighbors will have a heads up.

The CFW has proposed text amendment 754, which will be reviewed by the P&Z on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.

If adopted, 754 will require the placement of a temporary free-standing sign on a property subject of a proposal submitted to the P&Z or the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). It will include applications seeking approval for site plan, special permit, variance, subdivision or re-subdivision, town officials said.

“The Coalition for Westport has observed that more and more frequently, and particularly in the case of large and controversial projects that attract the interest of the community as a whole, neighbors are heard to complain that they did not receive adequate or timely notice,” said Lawrence Weisman, attorney for and a member of CFW.

He said neighbors were left unaware despite the notice requirements of statutes and regulations “and their conscientious enforcement by the P&Z staff.”

“We post such signs for liquor permit applications and foreclosures, and many towns in the region, i.e. Stamford and Bridgeport, require such signs, so there appears to be no reason why Westport should not do the same,” Weisman said.

According to P&Z Director Mary Young, the current methods used to provide notice exceed what is required by state statutes.

“Current practices include sending letters as evidenced by a certificate of mailing directly to property owners surrounding a property that is the subject of an application,” Young said.

In addition, all public hearing notices and meeting agendas are posted with the Town Clerk’s Office and on the town’s website.

A copy of the amendment is available for viewing in the Planning and Zoning Department at Town Hall and online at http://www.westportct.gov.

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