Dear Neighbors, Residents, Home Owners, Friends and Supporters of SAVE OLD SAUGATUCK/SOS,
At this point, most readers know that for the past 18 years the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission has fully supported residents and property owners in the Old Saugatuck community (Eight small streets with 64 home sites).The Save Old Saugatuck/SOS launched a community-wide effort to save this specifically unique neighborhood of families, homes, and history from the destructive proposal repeatedly put forth by developer Felix Charney during the same 18-year framework. This repetitious submission has been in the form of proposals addressing the “development” of Hiawatha Lane Extension. Charney has been trying to secure approval from Westport’s many different P and Z Commissioners elected throughout the 18-year time frame. Consistently and unanimously, the P and Z Commissioners voted to reject this nightmare of a land use proposal. Continuously the feedback through P and Z has affirmed trust in the research, homework, and examination of the neighborhood’s needs, and resulted in P & Z’s unequivocal support of the goals that this modest working-class community of single-family housing has expressed… to stay in their homes.
We know that Charney is intent on demolishing, destroying and completely disappearing any reminder or semblance of the Old Saugatuck community. He will replace every aspect of Old Saugatuck’s single-family homes with rental apartments. His first project is designed with as many as five buildings, each up to four stories high. Get the picture? This is just a start; he has set his intentions on redeveloping the rest of the entire Old Saugatuck neighborhood. (See pics. of these plans below).
During these past 18 years, the elected members of the P and Z Commission have shown solid support for Old Saugatuck with each vote a unanimous rejection of Charney’s proposed “development”; a proposal that would bury this neighborhood forever… So… given that history… why this sudden, shocking, and surprising news: the current P and Z Commission Chair appears to have done an “about-face” disintegrating the level of support for Old Saugatuck to a level that is now deeply concerning.
The P and Z Chair is entertaining or attempting negotiations with Charney. Secret meetings around this idea have been ongoing for several months. There has been no outreach or alert to the residents of Old Saugatuck. It appears that P and Z is abandoning the community. Why this action now? Why is the P and Z Chair suddenly willing to put the future of Old Saugatuck at risk? Perhaps there is a conflict.
Please look carefully at the three Charney illustrations below to see the three-part intended development plan for Old Saugatuck that would affect ALL eight streets and ALL 64 home sites.
Again, we ask…. Why is there a change at this time? And why have we not been informed?
We need to express our anger and disappointment.
We need to find out why there is consideration to “negotiate” and put our collective efforts into stopping that action with a firm public response.
Please feel free to pass this along to anyone in the Westport community at large. This proposed development WILL have a far-reaching effect beyond the Old Saugatuck neighborhood, with impact on emergency and public services, and traffic throughout the area.
Hiawatha Lane Extension Destruction
Please immediately end all negotiations with developer Felix Charney.
Please Save Old Saugatuck.
Phase one (Map A) of the total plan is shown by the yellow spaces. Phase two of the total plan is shown by the blue spaces. Phase 3 is shown by the white spaces, which indicates the final phase of replace and rebuild Old Saugatuck. That adds up to 100% “redevelopment” for all of the entire Old Saugatuck community of homes.
See the rough outline drawn of Charney’s three phases of proposed development to replace and rebuild Old Saugatuck. Note village 1 (Same as yellow in Map A), village 2 (Same as blue in Map A), and village 3 (Same as white in Map A).
Where do you live?
Finally, view Illustration C, provided by the developer and which serves as confirmation and affirmation of how Felix Charney intends to completely restructure and redefined Old Saugatuck into a collection of high-end market units sited on a piece of vulnerable land, filled with wetlands, watercourses, flooding and conservation easements.
Our resistance continues ~ Save Old Saugatuck was formed in 2003 to stop Felix Charney, of Summit Saugatuck LLC, from destroying an historic Westport, CT neighborhood. His development plans will encompass every one of these streets: Ferry Lane West, Hiawatha Lane, Indian Hill Road, Davenport Ave., Heritage Court, Dr. Gillette Circle, Hiawatha Lane Extension, and West End Avenue.
Charney is trying to convince the Westport Conservation Commission that land on Hiawatha Lane Extension is suitable for 187 units of rental housing, and that there is no problem with water, existing wetlands and watercourses in this area, when in fact, it is totally unsuitable for any plan that calls for a combined total of five, three, and four-story buildings.
This area has long been recognized as an area of wetlands, that is frequently saturated with water, and historically has severely limited building permitted.
We are encouraging friends, neighbors and concerned citizens to please share pictures of the flooding that already steadily occurs with the overflow of waterways going through the Hiawatha Lane Extension area.... or any other items you feel relevant... and all are invited to share their present stories and remembrances of this area when it was considered “swampland.
If you have any questions or want to know how you can lend further support or help, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Let’s achieve one more victory for ourselves in our 15-year fight to Save Old Saugatuck.
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Save Old Saugatuck
29 Hiawatha Lane Extension,
Westport, CT. 06880
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