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New Efforts by P&Z to Streamline Approval Process Thursday, October 4

Post Date:10/01/2018
Westport, CT - Planning & Zoning Director Mary Young announced today that the Planning & Zoning Commission will review a Text Amendment on Oct. 4, 2018 at 7:00 PM in the Westport Town Hall Auditorium.

 

CLICK THE LINKS BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED TEXT AMENDMENT

- Explanatory Statement 8-27-18 [PDF]

- Proposed Text 8-27-18 [PDF]

Text Amendment #753, prepared by the Planning and Zoning Commission’s Process Efficiency Subcommittee, proposes to modify the Change of Use definition found in the Westport Zoning Regulations. A Change of Use is currently defined in §5-2 of the Zoning Regulations as:
  • Any change that increases the minimum required number of parking spaces for a building or use by more than three (3) spaces;
  • Any change from a vacant rentable space in a building structure or lot, or portion thereof, which has been unoccupied for a period of 12 months or more to a use that is different from the previous use;
  • Any change from a vacant lot area to a parking area; and
  • Any change from any residential use to any commercial use.
A Change of Use currently requires Site Plan approval and a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission. Text Amendment #753 seeks to eliminate the 1-year rule requiring Site Plan review when a new business occupies a tenant space vacant for more than 1-year. The Amendment additionally proposes re-aligning responsibilities for Site Plan review between the Commission and its staff by removing language necessitating a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission for some small-scale projects in lieu of a Site Plan Waiver by the Planning and Zoning Director. Mary Young advised,
“The amendment if adopted will accomplish one step towards a multi-step process being undertaken to streamline the Planning & Zoning approval process.  This change will help make Westport more competitive. Westport may be better able to attract new businesses to fill existing vacancies if the timeline is reduced to secure approvals. There can be up to a 3-month backlog to get onto a meeting agenda. The proposal is a welcome relief and sends a positive message that Westport is open for business.”

All those interested in this amendment are encouraged to attend the Planning & Zoning Commission’s public hearing on Oct. 4, 2018 at 7:00 PM in the Westport Town Hall Auditorium. A copy of the amendment is attached herein, is available for viewing in Town Hall both in the P&Z Office and in the Office of the Town Clerk, and online at www.westportct.gov. The staff report analyzing the amendment is also available online at https://www.westportct.gov/index.aspx?page=1084 . The meeting will be televised live by wptv Television 79 (Cablevision) and Channel 99 (Frontier) and recorded and saved on the Town’s website. The Planning and Zoning Commission can receive written comments from the public in advance of the hearing.  Comments should be sent to PandZ@westportct.gov. Once the public hearing is closed, no more information or comments will be accepted.

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