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Letter: Zone Change Will Benefit Downtown Westport

WESTPORT, Conn. – The following letter was submitted by Westport resident and developer David Waldman, president of David Adam Realty and a partner of Bedford Square Associates.

On Thursday, Oct. 20, the partners of Bedford Square submitted to the Planning and Zoning Commission a request to change the zoning on 35 Church Lane from RORD, or Restricted Office-Retail District, to BCD, or Business Center District.

Our partnership purchased the property in late 2010 with the hopes of combining it with our redevelopment of the old YMCA and Fire House. The rezoning is just the first of several steps required to achieve our ultimate goal: a sustainable development with the proper density, scale, character and diversity of uses (commercial and residential), which would help to create a more vibrant downtown, day and night.

Although we made a clear presentation to the commission, it is evident from the public comments that there is a still some confusion as to what we are requesting. Below are the key points of our request:

1) The RORD and BCD result in the same amount of allowable commercial space – the key difference is that we would be able to provide more residential in the BCD.

2) The zone change would allow us to build no more than 19,859 square feet in two separate buildings and each building could not be larger than 10,000 square feet nor higher than three stories or 35 feet.

3) The zone change would allow us to create a single underground parking lot with over 100 parking spaces.

4) The zone changes allows for a natural and compatible infill to activities on both ends of Church Lane.

In summary, the benefits of our proposal and ultimately a zone change are:

• More on-site parking

• More downtown housing

• More downtown activity

• More tax revenue

• Compatibility with Town Plan objectives

We care deeply about the character of our town, the quality of our development and its overall success.  It is our goal to create something that enhances downtown Westport and stimulates activity at all times of the day. This project on Church Lane and Elm Street will be something all residents and visitors to Westport will be proud to have in the downtown area.

Sincerely,

David A. Waldman

On behalf of Bedford Square Associates LLC

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