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Westport Planning & Zoning Examines MOU For Senior Housing At Baron's South

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WESTPORT, Conn. -- The Westport Planning & Zoning Commission is scheduled to review two amendments to the town's zoning regulations, including one dealing with Senior Residential Communities that could affect the proposal for the Baron's South property.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 19, in the Westport Town Hall Auditorium.

Slated for discussion is Text Amendment No. 677, which was submitted by First Selectman James S. Marpe. It would modify rules on maximum allowable multifamily dwellings and senior residential communities.

The proposed change will modify an earlier version of the rule, which was adopted in May 2011. The changes would exempt age-restricted senior housing on town-owned property from the limit on multifamily dwellings. It would also allow a broader list of amenities, change the affordability requirement from 60 percent to 20 percent and grant specific changes to setbacks, concealed parking and architectural design for Senior Residential Community projects on town-owned property.

The proposed changes are related to a plan to develop senior housing on the Baron’s South property, which received unanimous approval last week from the Westport Board of Selectmen.

The Baron’s South Committee's "vision for senior housing on Baron’s South is now much closer to fruition as we seek final approvals," Marpe said in a statement. "Approval of the Memorandum of Understanding is an important step in creating a facility that will serve all Westport seniors while also providing the benefits of quality open space for all Westport citizens.

"The senior housing facility at Baron’s South is destined to become another crown jewel of Westport and will establish a standard for helping senior citizens age in place that other communities will be challenged to emulate.”

Under the MOU, 40 percent of the 135 rental units would be set below market rate based on two income tiers. Also, the developer would build an amenity center adjoining the Senior Center for use by all Westport seniors and maintain open land around the project in a tranquil setting for community use.

The other item slated to be discussed is Text Amendment No. 676. It was submitted by the Planning & Zoning Commission to amend the existing regulations on excavation and fill. In 2011, the commission previously amended these regulations but further refinements are now needed, Laurence Bradley, Westport's Planning & Zoning director, said in a statement.

The most recent changes include reducing the number of exempt activities, creating new exemptions for roads and driveways, limiting the use  of fill to measure building height and reducing the severity of man-made slopes, Bradley said.

Copies of the amendments are available for viewing in Town Hall, both in the P&Z Office and in the office of the Town Clerk. The commission can receive written comments from the public in advance of the hearing.

Read more about the approval of the MOU for Baron's South here on the Daily Voice.

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