Westport P&Z scrutinizes Baron's South seniors' project
Updated 4:33 pm, Friday, March 18, 2011
The zoning amendment proposed by First Selectman Gordon Joseloff that would pave the way for a new senior living center and health-care facility on the town-owned Baron's South property again received mixed reviews Thursday night, as the Planning and Zoning Commission continued to review the project.
After public hearings for Joseloff's proposed Text Amendment 625 concluded March 10, Thursday's review mainly reflected commissioners' current positions on the amendment.
Catherine Walsh, as she did at the last session, again expressed skepticism about the first selectman's plan.
"I would really love for the (senior complex planning) committee to sit back and re-evaluate the process by which they're doing this," she said. "I'm uncomfortable with us making any action at this point."
Commissioner Michael Krawiec, who voted against preliminary approval of the senior complex last October, reiterated his concerns about Joseloff's plan to lease the 23-acre Baron's South site for third-party operation of the senior residential community and the health-care facility.
"My preference is to see that stuff sold off," he said. "At this point, I'd say that I wouldn't support the amendment in its current form."
Commissioner Nora Jinishian shared Krawiec's view that the senior complex should offer financial value for the town, but added that she nonetheless plans to vote for the amendment.
"I feel the use as they have defined it is a real need," she said. "I feel that as a town we should be doing something for our senior population."
Since Thursday's meeting was a work session for the P&Z, public comment was not taken. Attendance was sparse, with only a few members of the public scattered in the Town Hall auditorium
The P&Z concluded its latest review of Text Amendment 625 on Thursday without taking any votes. The commission has until May 14 to vote on the amendment. Commissioners did not indicate when they would resume their evaluation of the first selectman's senior complex proposal.