Guest Post: Mandell Update, January 4, 2018

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Matthew Mandell is an RTM Representative for District 1 and also the Executive Director and President of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce.  If you would like to subscribe to his informative email blasts, click here.  His most recent "Mandell Update" is posted below.  Disclaimer:  Please note that this post represents Mr. Mandell's views rather than my own views, the views of any other RTM member, or the views of the RTM as a whole.

Hi All and more newcomers:

As always there is a lot of stuff going on. But first.....I have a:

NEW EVENT - January 27thScreen Shot 2018-01-05 at 2.16.58 PM

This is date night in a bottle folks. Spend an evening in downtown Westport. Come as a couple or come with a group of friends.

A single ticket brings you a 3 course meal at one of five restaurants, a professional show, and then happy hour pricing on drinks après show.  Price per ticket $75.  Tickets will go fast as only 150 will be sold to fill the Seabury Center on Church Lane.

This will be the first in a series. Our first act is Dana Fuchs, whose once-in-a-generation voice and presence evokes Janis Joplin and Robert Plan. See this star of the movie Across the Universe before she heads out on her European Tour.

You get to choose from these great venues for dinner. Dinner is at 6pm and the show at 8pm, Saturday evening January 27th.

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Click here to see more and purchase your tickets.

People have been waiting for vibrancy in Downtown at night. Here it is, lots of people, a fun time and an infusion into the local economy.


Noticing - As you may know there have been some questions about how residents find out about issues in town. While there is an email system, sign up at:
more can be done in this age of information.

Both the P&Z and the RTM P&Z will be holding meetings to discuss and brainstorm about how best to keep our town informed.

MONDAY 12:30pm in Town Hall room 309 the P&Z Communications Subcommittee will have a meeting with RTM members attending.
Wednesday January 17th 7:30pm the RTM P&Z Com will meet jointly with the P&Z Communications committee.   Following that agenda item will be the annual P&Z update to the RTM on pending issues.

Pending issues

1. 8-30g on Hiawatha - Rumor has it that the pending hearings coming before Conservation to amend wetland lines is the precursor to a full 8-30g application to P&Z. Summit Development with their boys from the law firm Shipman & Goodman are coming again. NOTE - Shipman & Goodman represents the Board of Education and I have said for many years now this is a conflict of interest for the Town to pay a law firm that is an adversary.

More to come on this as it moves forward.

2. Belta Farm -  There is a proposal to allow for 9 acres of the 24 to be served by a community septic system to build a senior living facility. My questions are these, what happens to the other 15 acres? Will embracing a community septic open the door to 8-30gs in other larger lots outside the sewer area? How much affordable will there be for our Westport seniors? And should a farm like this not be open space?  This is coming before P&Z in February as a text amendment.

3. Saugatuck TOD Study -  We had our meeting without the consultants. I'd give it a B.  A big result is that the consultants did not immediately present their draft plan, it's delayed and more tweaks and refinements are coming. Hopefully they will come back with a worthy product. One thing I made clear was that I was not supporting structured parking, aka a garage, on Town property. Cathy Walsh called for a vote on this issue, as she too and others don't want to see this in the plan, but this did not occur. It must.  Next meeting Thursday morning January 11 8am.

So what do you think of Supper & Soul?  Buy some tickets with friends and spend an evening downtown.

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