Update, December 13, 2019
Greetings neighbors and friends,
Yet another Town Hall setting last Tuesday night for Summit Saugatuck LLC/Felix Charney; one which provided this developer yet another opportunity to continue his 16-year saga of tilting his "windmills" of innuendo, obfuscation and outright lying... this time in order to convince the Norwalk Conservation Commissioners that he has an "ordained right" to have a road constructed through Norwalk's preserved wetlands going directly into Westport and into the Old Saugatuck neighborhood street of Hiawatha Lane Extension. This road would be constructed so that Charney could have his "ordained right" to personally profit by constructing buildings that simply are not a fit in any way for this neighborhood (a position which is affirmed by eight Westport P&Z denials). His planned strategy is deliberately exploiting the specific State Housing law that provides for the availability of "affordable housing units" throughout all of Connecticut's 169 towns.
It was again an opportunity for Charney & company to make accusations that racism was the reason the application was denied by Westport eight times, and that the Norwalk Conservation Commissioners shouldn't perpetuate this racism. Was this another veiled threat as has been the pattern? Another tilting of the windmills?
The racism insult was delivered two hours in, at the close of a long meeting, after dozens of both Norwalk residents and Westport residents had already presented a compelling multitude of reasons for the Commissioners to reject the application submitted by this developer. Objections were raised about several current issues and potential issues, which this application "conveniently" failed to cover or address. As such, at the close of the evening Charney & company asked for more time and a continuation of the meeting to January, 2020. The questions proposed by the audience could have been answered immediately, but of course this request for more time could be expected as the billable hours for Summit's attorney, Tim Hollister, continue to build. (Excuse any cynicism on my part, but this is a familiar pattern demonstrated through the years) and the delays also buys more time to circle their wagons and conjure up counter "rationales" to offer in January.
Summit Saugatuck LLC/Felix Charney has expended millions of dollars since 2003, and so far... what has been accomplished during those years has been eight unanimous Westport P and Z rejections of a pretend affordable housing proposal, that would destroy an already historically affordable neighborhood and local environs.
Gold stars for all the wonderful residents who filled the Community room with their presence and their statements. Gold stars for the elected officials, who recognized the critical issues here and voiced their hope that the Norwalk Conservation Commissioners would act with the concern and responsibility that they have as land trust protectors, and reject any attempt to change a conservation easement....and the public trust it represents.
I'll be in touch with updated information and as the January meeting comes closer.
Enjoy the rest of December; enjoy the holidays and holy days.
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.
Click on the "CONTRIBUTE NOW" button below - or - Please make checks payable to:
Save Old Saugatuck
29 Hiawatha Lane Extension,
Westport, CT. 06880
Sign up for my email list for news and updates on Save Old Saugatuck's status, please click HERE.
Help Save the Historic Saugatuck Community of Westport, CT.
Your contribution today helps to make a difference.