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Westport Selectmen Plan Final Vote On Kemper Gunn House

The final vote is set for Wednesday, Aug. 13, on the future of the Kemper Gunn House in Westport.
The final vote is set for Wednesday, Aug. 13, on the future of the Kemper Gunn House in Westport. Photo Credit: File

WESTPORT, Conn. -- After 18 months and nine approvals from four different town boards and commissions, the Westport Board of Selectmen will make the final vote Wednesday, Aug. 13, on the historic Kemper Gunn House.

The Board of Selectmen will vote on the lease for the land where the house will be moved and on the overall guiding principles on what will be done with the house.

Both the Board of Finance and the Planning and Zoning Commission approved the lease last month. Now the selectmen have to sign off on it.

If the final approval for the project comes Wednesday, preparations would immediately be made to begin the process to lift, move, rehabilitate, historically register and rent out the house to non-national chains with the focus on local business, according to Matthew Mandell of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce.

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe appointed the KG Advisory Group to shepherd the project through the final stages.

Under the lease, the town can share in the success of the project by getting 10 percent of the profit. The town will not be on the hook for anything, and the rehabilitation of the house will be based on state historical standards.

The meeting will be at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Ave.

Under the plan, the Victorian home would be saved from the wrecking ball by having it moved from Church Lane to the Elm Street municipal parking lot, just up the road.

Built circa 1855, the Queen Anne-style home is one of two buildings at 35 Church Lane, next to the Westport Weston Family Y’s downtown facility, which is slated to be transformed into a mixed-use complex known as Bedford Square.

The Bedford Square project calls for a portion of the Y and both buildings at 35 Church Lane to be removed to make way for four new buildings.

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