A view of the 1 Glendinning property from Ford Road. / Photo by Thane Grauel
A view of the 1 Glendinning property from Ford Road. / Photo by Thane Grauel

By Thane Grauel

WESTPORT — Zoning officials have provided some updates about the plan to add 10 residential structures to the Glendinning Place corporate campus since the public hearing on a text amendment opened two weeks ago.

The plan by Glendinning Westport LLC calls for eight detached market rate single-family homes on a northern portion of the property. Two other buildings would contain three efficiency studios in each to house five special needs individuals, plus a support staff person.

Those six units would help the town obtain a new moratorium from the state’s 8-30g legislation. The Planning and Zoning Commission is reviewing the potential changes to regulations and the housing plan.

Since the Feb. 12 hearing, two staff memos have been written. One, by Deputy Planning and Zoning Director Michelle Perillie, details how the plan would help the town meet requirements from the state to obtain a new, four-year moratorium.

She confirmed Rick Redniss’ statement that the plan would provide the town 12 housing unit-equivalent points toward a second moratorium (the town had one earlier, but it expired in March 2023).

“The number of housing unit-equivalent points Westport needs to qualify for a second moratorium is 156, using the 2010 Census …” Perillie wrote. “Westport is likely to exceed this threshold once Certificates of Occupancy are issued for projects already approved and under construction.”

Another memo, from Planning and Zoning Director Mary Young, recaps the discussion so far, and details information received since the hearing opened.

She mentioned a police traffic expert’s communication saying he doesn’t believe a traffic study should be required when a site plan is filed.

“The surrounding roadway can handle the minor increase to trips being proposed for this development,” police Staff Cpl. Al D’Amura wrote to the Planning and Zoning Department. “I do not see the need for a Traffic Analysis to be performed related to the proposed development at 1 Glendinning Place.”

Young also mentioned that staff recommends some language be added to the text amendment. One tweak would have the amendment apply only to properties at least 15 acres in size.

She said that precludes 25 Ford Road, an office complex across the river, from utilizing the residential development provisions in the text amendment, “to offset concerns expressed by some about potential traffic increases impacting surrounding residential property owners.”

The new plan from Glendinning Westport LLC.
The new plan from Glendinning Westport LLC.

Young also suggested language be added requiring that an Affordability Plan be submittee, “and no more than half the market-rate units may be issued a ZCC [zoning certificate of compliance] until all Special Needs Housing is constructed.”

Before the last hearing, almost two dozen people wrote to the Planning and Zoning Commission, many expressing concerns about traffic, another septic system, and the fragile ecosystem of the area. The commission members appeared to receive the plan favorably.

The discussion was continued to March 4.

Thane Grauel grew up in Westport and has been a journalist in Fairfield County and beyond for 36 years. Reach him at editor@westportjournal.com. Learn more about us here.