Many of SOS readers know about the P and Z Commissioners’ vote to give up on the Old Saugatuck community. 18 years of previous support was suddenly dropped as a number of RTM members bowed to the pressure, and capitulated to Summit Saugatuck LLC/Felix Charney - all because the Westport Town Attorney told them to do so.
Presenting as his reasoning, he painted a bleak, no-win situation directing attention to six pending lawsuits by Charney against the town. Attorney Ira Bloom folded without a fight. He threw away a neighborhood effort that spanned 18 years of successful land-use defense. He threw away an 18-year record of unanimous votes by multiple P and Z commissioners who continuously, and rightfully, rejected the proposed development. And he threw away an opportunity for this historic community of 64 homes to continue to challenge the Summit Saugatuck bully team of Charney and Hollister and their law suits against the Town.
In all his talk of potential gloom and doom (Nothing being a done deal) did he mention what might happen if we were to win... what might the benefits be to the neighborhood; to the Town? No. His "arguments" were all a negative one-way street.
Many of the SOS readers may have listened as RTM members, one after another, lamented the sadness of a “settlement” with these developers, the sadness of what the destruction to a community of homes and history will mean to Westport‘s future. And then, with the exception of two votes, they voted to support the developer - supporting a "deal" made in secret, without any public input throughout the "negotiation".
Was this classism... racism... are we a disposable, out of sight, out of mind location? Why are we the sacrificial lamb?
Check it out everyone... we are here to stay! We’re still fighting. Save Old Saugatuck/SOS is about keeping us together... not tearing apart.
Thanks to Town Attorney Ira Bloom for telling everyone they had no choice (Like Hell...) because of lawsuits that Charney filed - even though Charney lost each and every previous lawsuit throughout the past 18 years.
And thanks to P and Z Chair Danielle Dobin for helping to serve the Kool-aid.
As always, please feel free to call or email Carolanne if you have any questions. info@SaveOldsaugatuck.com
Is this the end of Old Saugatuck in Westport; a special neighborhood of affordable homes and vibrant history?
This is our toughest battle yet to SAVE OLD SAUGATUCK from a developer who is using lawsuits to destroy our community.
This is all he can do because he cannot win on Westport’s land use rules and regulations for his proposed nightmare project. He tried for 18 years and lost every time. What does that say?
He doesn’t care one bit about the damage he is inflicting. What does that say?
So your voice is critical.
You can support SOS with your comments during the “public hearing” on Wednesday, May 12, at 7:00 PM.
The first part of the meeting starts at 6:30 PM, but more important is the public hearing section which is at 7:00 PM. So here, below, is the ZOOM or phone in information that you will need.
Keep alert that you may only have a few minutes to make your statement if there are a lot of comments to be heard.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
III PUBLIC MEETING PORTION
ZOOM remote participation instructions (Be aware, this is a different link than what is indicated for the 6:30 portion of the meeting.
Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81658416015...
Dial in via telephone:
+1 646 876 9923
Meeting ID: 816 5841 6015
1. Potentially Vote on Pending litigation: Summit Saugatuck LLC v. Westport Planning and Zoning Commission (Docket No. HHD-CV19-6120090-S), for a 157- Unit Affordable Housing Development and other terms.
2. Potentially Vote on Pending litigation: Cross Street LLC v. Westport Planning and Zoning Commission (Docket No. HHD-CV18-6103065-S)
The last few SOS email alerts addressed our concern about all the Westport P and Z “executive sessions” these past few months to discuss the Hiawatha Lane Extension project with Developer Felix Charney.
Well, now the P and Z Commission has finally decided to announce a “Public Meeting” for this Wednesday, May 12, starting at 6:30 PM on ZOOM, with the public hearing section at 7:00 PM.
JOIN THE 6:30 PM ZOOM MEETING WITH THIS LINK: https://www.westportct.gov/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/22997/1176
JOIN THE 7:00 PM PUBLIC HEARING SECTION of the ZOOM MEETING WITH THIS LINK: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81658416015?pwd=SDFkRkFHTzJTOE9EMllTU2Y3bDUzdz09&fbclid=IwAR2ah_X4CTfBeqxhzNQS4nJaVMQbF2N4pcYKwHreIDpVIILgyY-eIzJdbDU
This meeting should provide the reasons why the P and Z decided to hold negotiation meetings with this developer.
This meeting is a specific public meeting that will determine our future as residents in this neighborhood.
This meeting is going to shape up to become one of the most critical P and Z meetings in the history of this Town.
This meeting will affect an entire historic neighborhood of Old Saugatuck, with its 64+ housing sites on all eight streets.
We are at immeasurable risk today as never before. We face losing all that we have successfully fought for in stopping developer Felix Charney of Summit Saugatuck LLC from introducing his overwhelming of-out-of-scale sized apartment buildings and generating the unprecedented chaos that will follow.
Apparently we are at risk of having all this occur in the wake of a recent State Superior Court Judicial decision in favor of the developer.
Look at this picture (Above) listing the current court cases that form the basis of the legal attacks that Summit Saugatuck LLC is waging against the Town of Westport.
Did the Town look at the cost involved in appealing the decision of one judge? What was the estimated cost of mounting a legal defense? Was the cost too high?
Could the Town not look beyond the dollar cost and summon the leadership and courage to act in the best interests of her constituents, taxpayers, and voters?
The dual force of both State agencies (Housing and Judicial) along with the addition of all Summit’s litigation acting against the Town of Westport, will wipe out all of the past 18 years of intelligent and land sensitive decisions affecting Old Saugatuck.
More details tomorrow on the ZOOM meeting.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
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.
Click on the "CONTRIBUTE NOW" button below - or - Please make checks payable to:
Save Old Saugatuck
29 Hiawatha Lane Extension,
Westport, CT. 06880
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