Kowalsky Farm via Google Earth
An aerial view of the former Kowalsky farm, off Morningside Drive South, as photographed by Google Earth.

By Thane Grauel

WESTPORT — An application to further subdivide the old Kowalsky farm off Morningside Drive South has been withdrawn from Planning and Zoning Commission consideration.

While the plan to create six residential lots has not been withdrawn from the Conservation Commission, it’s not clear if changes will be made before it is resubmitted to the P&Z.

The application, seeking to divide the 12-acre parcel between Morningside, Clapboard Hill Road and Turkey Hill Road South, provoked critical questions in recent months from several town bodies.

The P&Z, which will decide whether the property can be subdivided or not, was scheduled to discuss the application at its meeting Monday night.

Before that, however, it awaits a report on the application from the Conservation Commission.

Conservation commissioners discussed the plan Wednesday night, and members had numerous concerns. They did not make a decision, but did come to a consensus that a negative report on the plans should be drafted and discussed at the panel’s June 15 meeting.

That followed a negative recommendation on the application issued previously by the Flood and Erosion Control Board. That board’s members had concerns about an apparently unpermitted underground drainage system, and how basements of the proposed homes might affect an already high water table.

Kowalsky Farm
Members of the Conservation Commission and staff toured the former Kowalsky fam property, where six new residential lots are proposed, during an April field trip.  / File photo

And Public Works Director Peter Ratkiewich on May 9 informed the applicant that the property’s drainage system — installed years ago without permits — must be disconnected from the town stormwater drainage system on Turkey Hill South within 30 days. 

Planning and Zoning Director Mary Young said Friday that a state statutory time limit is approaching for the zoning application, which could not be closed without receipt of the Conservation Commission’s report.

Young believes it would not be long before the application is resubmitted.

After Wednesday’s meeting, Rick Constantini of FLB Law sent an email to the Planning and Zoning Department to withdraw the application on behalf of his client, Kowalsky Family Company LLC.

“Please let this email serve as formal notice that my client is withdrawing the above referenced application and will be re-submitting an application …” Constantini wrote. “As such, there is no need for the application to appear on the agenda for the meeting scheduled on Monday, May 23, 2022.”

As of Friday, the matter had not been withdrawn from the conservation panel’s future agenda, according to Conservation Director Alicia Mozian. 

She said she talked with Constantini and that it appears the applicant is likely to move forward with the conservation review of the proposal. 

“We will know more by Monday,” Mozian said.

Constantini could not be reached Friday afternoon.

Thane Grauel is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Westport Journal. Learn more about us here.