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Westport To Hold Public Hearing On Study For Village District Zone

The hearing to establish the village district zone will take place in Town Hall Auditorium.
The hearing to establish the village district zone will take place in Town Hall Auditorium. Photo Credit: File

WESTPORT, Conn. -- For residents who want to learn more about what a Village District Zone would mean for Westport and how the town's historic character would be preserved, a public informational meeting will be held on the topic Monday.

The Village District Steering Committee will hold the meeting on Monday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall auditorium, Village District Steering Committee Chair Francis Henkels announced.

“This is the culmination of a yearlong study into ways the town can identify and protect the historic character of downtown under the pressure of future change. Implementation of the Village District zoning overlay would have significant implications for patterns of future development in Westport Center," Henkels said. "We invite all residents, property owners and other interested stakeholders to attend this important informational presentation.”

The Cecil Group, planning consultants for the project, will present its recommendations for the establishment of the Village District Zone in Westport Center. The recently completed Village District Study is intended to ensure that preservation of the historic character of the town is an integral part of the future planning process.

The 2007 Town Plan of Conservation and Development, in a chapter devoted to Westport’s Downtown says Westport Center is the main activity center and focal point of Westport - the heart of a vital, well-developed, and yet balanced community.

According to the plan, the creation of a village district is one of the best planning tools to protect the character of Westport Center.

The Village District Steering Committee is initiating the establishment of a village district as part of the broader master plan of downtown.

The project was fully financed by a Vibrant Communities Initiative Grant from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation. The Town of Westport, upon the recommendation of the Village District Steering Committee, has undertaken this effort to establish a village district area in downtown Westport in which new design standards will be applied to new construction, substantial reconstruction and rehabilitation, and changes to the exterior of facades visible from the public way and the Saugatuck River.

The Cecil Group Inc., founded by Steven G. Cecil, is an urban design and planning firm. It conducted the study process and provided recommendations to the town for potential zoning changes. The Cecil Group has experience with other village districts in Connecticut, including Lebanon and Clinton.

Contact Carol Leahy, HDC staff administrator, at 203-341-1184 in Room 108 at Town Hall with any questions.

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