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Westport Denies Change to Swing Set Rules

If you've got a swing set or play set located within 50 feet of your property line, you better find another spot for it. On Thursday night, the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously denied an application that, if approved, would have made swing sets and play sets exempt from setback and coverage regulations.

"The definition and protection of setbacks is an integral part of our zoning regulations," P&Z secretary David Press said during the work session. "Setbacks are there for a reason."

Current zoning regulations prohibit the placement of a structure in a setback, or an area within 50 feet of property lines. The application, filed by resident Cary Moskowitz , sought to change the definition of a structure to exclude swing sets and play sets. This in turn would have made them exempt from the setback and coverage regulations.

Moskowitz brought the application after a neighbor filed a complaint with the town in November 2009 over the placement of his swing set. In his application, Moskowitz said the regulations are not consistently enforced and that there are "literally hundreds of swing sets and play sets that are illegal by virtue of their encroachment upon side yard and/or front yard setbacks."

Commission Chairman Ron Corwin, however, contested that statement and wanted the record to reflect that the Planning and Zoning Department hasn't ignored enforcement of the regulations.

"Anytime there's been a complaint with respect to [violations], the department has responded," Corwin said. "And in many cases, when the department has gone out on its own inspections and seen such things, has told neighbors they have to move things out of the setback."

Do you think the Planning and Zoning Commission was right in its decision? Do you have a swing set placed too close to a property line? Share your thoughts below !

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