233 Hillspoint Road house
The unfinished house at 233 Hillspoint Road has been the subject of town legal action and court cases in recent years for work not approved by Westport’s land-use agencies. / Photo by Thane Grauel

By Thane Grauel

WESTPORT — The long, litigious tale of an unfinished house constructed on Old Mill Beach without all the requisite approvals was discussed behind closed doors last week — with indications the dispute may soon be resolved.

The property, once home to a succession of restaurants — notably, Café De La Plage and Positano’s — has been repurposed for a two-story, beachfront structure. For some time, it has stood unfinished, clad in blue housewrap and surrounded by construction fencing.

The Zoning Board of Appeals voted last Tuesday to go in executive session to discuss litigation involving the property. It lasted about a half-hour.

“There will be a new set of plans that will be put on the town website,” ZBA Chairman James Ezzes said when the body returned to open session.

233 Hillspoint Road house
The house at 233 Hillspoint Road, a site where several restaurants once stood, has stood unfinished for more than two years after the town ordered construction to stop in a dispute with the owner. / Photo by Thane Grauel

“Please feel free to take a look at them,” he said. “We’ll be taking public comment on the twelfth of July.”

The updated plans were posted Wednesday afternoon on the town’s website.

Michelle Perillie, deputy planning and zoning director, said Friday the plans had been scaled back to address concerns raised by neighbors and ZBA members.

“They took out the cupola, and the chimney is being removed,” Perillie said.

Also, she said fieldstone originally planned at the bottom of the structure would be returned, rather than cement board, and some changes were made to windows.

The executive session was part of settlement talks for litigation over the application, which included a town stop-work order and revocation of permits for the project more than two years ago.

“On July 12, the public can comment on the plans, and the board will potentially vote on the settlement,” Perillie said.

Eric Bernheim, the lawyer for the LLC that owns the property, could not be reached Friday for comment.

The ZBA will meet at 6 p.m. July 12. The agenda has yet to be posted so the location and/or online link was not available.