Robbed of ocean views

by tall new shrubbery

Westport's views of Long Island Sound and the recreational access to its waters are two of the town's greatest assets. Many of our residents enjoy the views afforded them along Hillspoint Road as they stroll, bike or drive by. Indeed, I moved to Westport because of that public access and communal feeling.

But recently a disturbing development has occurred at 248 and 250 Hillspoint. Both properties have small private beaches across Hillspoint Road bordering the Sound. Just this week, the owner has planted large shrubs between the sidewalk and her beachfront property, effectively blocking views of the water.

While she has a legal right to plant these 6- to 8-foot tall shrubs, it is not the neighborly choice. Is it fair to deny hundreds of people a week from their enjoyment and pleasure of appreciating the beautiful view, a view which has remained ours to enjoy for many, many years through numerous previous owners?

I would suggest that the owner chose personal privacy over being a good neighbor, and I urge her to reconsider that choice. And perhaps the town of Westport should re-examine its laws and regulations; many towns and municipalities take into consideration the public and neighbors' views when granting the right to build or renovate. Should we devalue the personal pleasure of many for the right of one individual?

Susan D. Benizio

Westport