P&Z to take up redevelopment plan for Geiger's site
Updated 6:14 pm, Thursday, July 14, 2011
Glorious Morning, LLC, the contract purchaser of the property, proposes in its pre-application to replace the garden center with a new commercial building and about 10 two-bedroom apartments. Three of those units would be leased or sold as below-market rate or "affordable" housing, according to the filing.
"This plan offers a lot to Westport," said Larry Weisman, a Westport-based lawyer who represents Glorious Morning. "It's going to provide affordable housing and housing for young people and seniors who want to live in Westport. It'll be a nice transition between the residential and commercial zones."
Weisman declined to disclose the identity of the principals of Glorious Morning.
Geiger's Garden Centers, meanwhile, is expanding its operations and plans to open a larger facility in Fairfield County to replace its Westport center, said Jon Angel, president of Angel Commercial, LLC, a Fairfield-based commercial real estate brokerage firm that is representing Geiger's. The company also has a garden center in Fairfield.
Located yards away from Greens Farms School, the property at 1135 Post Road East is in a Business Preservation District and Residence A zone. The proposed development at the site would not have been possible prior to the P&Z's approval last year of Text Amendment 619. That set of regulations allows split-zone properties to be rezoned with an inclusionary housing overlay district, which permits development of multi-family dwellings on lots situated in both commercial and residential zones, provided that 20 percent of the units are affordable.
In addition to P&Z backing for an inclusionary housing overlay, the redevelopment plan would also require the commission to approve a site plan and a special permit.
The P&Z's review of the preliminary application for redevelopment of 1135 Post Road East begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Town Hall auditorium.