I object to the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission's approval of the Bedford Square proposal to deface our present downtown YMCA building. It reflects commercial opportunism at its worst.

Where is the Architectural Review Board? Where is the Historic District Commission? Where is the Westport Historical Society? Is this what benefactor William T. Bedford had in mind when be underwrote the historic old YMCA building to create a community heart?

Money sure does talk. I guess you can buy anything -- including the demise of a picturesque and down-home town that once attracted artists and writers for its intrinsic beauty and warmth -- its rural simplicity and its lack of rampant commercialism. A token: the preservation of a small Queen Anne home that will be transplanted to the edge of a large public parking lot. When do the big-box stores arrive? Is this true progress?

Where is the Zoning Board of Appeals? This whole town-consuming retail project is in dire need of responsible explanation.

Janet Aley

Westport