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Westport RTM Rejects Zoning Appeal

UPDATE : Michael Calise has lost his battle to overturn two Westport affordable housing regulations passed by the P&Z Commission last month. But he's content knowing that he  tried.

"I had two choices when all this started," Calise said. "I could have taken it to court during the appeal period, as well as taking it to the [RTM], but I chose not to take it to court because I felt, honestly, my argument was so clear cut that [the regulations] would be overturned."

On Nov. 15, Calise filed a petition asking the RTM to reject  text amendments 618 and 619, inclusionary zoning measures that would allow multi-family housing in commercial zones throughout town as long as 20 percent of the units were affordable. [And with a total of 36 signatures, the appeal was sent before the Representative Town Meeting.]

Early Thursday morning, the RTM voted 17 to16 not to overturn amendment 618. The vote on amendment 619 also failed, 29 to 2.

From the beginning, Calise made it clear he was not opposed to affordable housing. He opposed the regulations, he said, because they applied to all commercial zones and not just the General Business District, the only commercial district where housing was not previously allowed.

Now that the RTM has spoken, Calise said he doesn't know what he'll do, if anything at all.

"My options are limited at this point. I'm not prone to sue the RTM because I don't think it will accomplish much and I'm not one to do that sort of thing," Calise said. "It did get good public discussion and it may be something that is dealt with again, though I doubt it."

*A previous version of this story has been updated to correct an error in the vote summary.

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