Westport to seek public comments on plan to ease rules on outdoor events
A hearing is planned by Westport zoning officials on a proposal that they say will make it easier to stage outdoor events in town.
Planning & Zoning Director Laurence Bradley said Monday that the Planning & Zoning Commission will conduct a June 10 public hearing on an amendment to the zoning regulations that would relax the requirements for outdoor special events. The hearing gets under way at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall auditorium.
The types of events affected by the proposed change include:
• any outdoor event open to the public on private property.
• outdoor events on residential properties covered by a special permit use.
• outdoor events that have a tent(s) larger than 350 square feet set up on a residential property for more than seven days.
• commercial filming, photography or promotion projects that involve either a cast/crew of larger than seven people or last more than three hours.
• events that include amusement rides, such as carousels, roller-coasters, merry-go-rounds and Ferris wheels, must obtain ARC approval.
"The Planning & Zoning Commission by proposing these changes will make easier for merchants and no-profit organizations to hold outdoor events with greater ease and fewer regulations," Ron Corwin, the P&Z chairman said in a statement.
"These types of events add life and vitality to our community and this amendment seeks to encourage these activities by eliminating a number of regulatory obstacles. The public hearing is at the core of our amendment development process and the commission not only welcomes but invites public input at the hearing," he added.
After public comments on the proposal, the commission may adopt, modify and adopt, or reject the proposal.
This amendment is one in a series of initiatives that the commission is considering based on goals and priorities identified in the 2007 Plan of Conservation and Development.
Copies of the amendment are available to the public in Town Hall at both in the P&Z and Town Clerk offices.
The commission also will accept written comments from the public in advance of the hearing. Once the hearing is closed, no more information or comments can be accepted.