Conception of 5-7 Hiawatha Lane, front view.
Conception of 5-7 Hiawatha Lane, front view

By Thane Grauel

WESTPORT — The second 8-30g “affordable” housing plan filed for the Hiawatha Lane neighborhood has been withdrawn, for now.

The Zucaro family had planned to demolish 5 and 7 Hiawatha Lane with a five-story, 42-unit building. The structure would have filled most of the land and included a parking area beneath.

The two properties are 0.73 acres together and are owned by Faustina Zucaro. On the land now is a five-apartment structure and a two-apartment structure.

“On behalf of the owners of 5&7 Hiawatha we are withdrawing this application,” the applicant’s representative, Cathy Walsh, wrote to Planning and Zoning Director Mary Young on Feb. 9. “We will be resubmitting at a later date.”

Walsh, a former Planning and Zoning Commission member, couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.

It’s the second such project envisioned for the neighborhood between Interstate 95, Saugatuck Avenue, the Metro-North tracks and the Norwalk city line. The other was Summit Saugatuck, a 157-unit complex on Hiawatha Lane Extension, bordering the Norwalk city line.

5 and 7 Hiawatha Lane. / Photos by Thane Grauel
5 and 7 Hiawatha Lane / Photos by Thane Grauel

The initial application for 5 and 7 Hiawatha was filed with the Planning and Zoning Commission in December. Thirty percent of the units would be set aside as “affordable,” Walsh said in the application materials.

Summit Saugatuck’s three-building plan, also filed under the state’s 8-30g housing legislation was stalled for years by a challenge brought by neighbors. That case ended in December when the Connecticut Supreme Court declined an appeal of its decision not to hear the case.

Hiawatha Lane Extension. / Photo by Thane Grauel
Hiawatha Lane Extension

Carolanne Curry of Save Old Saugatuck was not a fan of the initial Zucaro proposal. She said in December it was ugly and that the property was too small for the proposed development. She said architectural renderings could have been made more in tune with the neighborhood.

On Monday, Curry said she didn’t know what the updated plans might look like.

“We’re still waiting for an indication to the neighbors, which I understand was going to be forthcoming,” Curry said. “At that meeting we were going to give our input.”

“We have not yet been to that meeting,” she said. “Do I want to go, and do the neighbors want to go? Absolutely.”

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.