Let’s be positive!
What is the first action for implementing the 2020 Weston Town Plan?
Looks to me to be that would be updating zoning for the center of town.
Is the five-acre Shopping Center Zone, the present zone since 1970, finally up for a major make-over? Are there other properties around it that could enhance the “walkable village” concept?
What exactly could a “Village District” do to help build up the economic vitality of downtown Weston?
Would this possibly allow the Weston Shopping Center to grow and change? How could a Town Green fit in?
More than twenty years ago the General Assembly came up with enabling legislation to protect “distinctive character” of communities. “Distinctive” for landscape features. And historic structures. All in a place with defined borders.
That would be a good idea for Weston. Actually, it fits like a glove!
A Village District might encompass the already mentioned shopping center. Town Hall and the library, the area of the First Historic District and more land still vacant could be in it too.
Several neighboring towns in the area – Ridgefield, Norwalk and Westport – are using this device. They have incorporated the concept of this “floating” or “overlay” zoning into their regulations.
Westport’s boundaries for their Village District clearly encapsulate their Main Street neighborhood. It is the heart of Westport.
Once you create the specific district itself, an appointed architectural review board reviews applications for construction within. It is an extra layer of government. But our elected Planning and Zoning Commission then makes final decisions.
Sometimes we get overcome by events. And everything appears bleak.
At these times I like to watch Police Commission meetings. They reassure me with their logical style of “just the facts.”
Last week I tuned in to hear the Police Commission react to the new “Police Accountability” statute. An ear-full! In effect, this is another largely unfunded mandate on towns.
“About Town” is also a television program. It appears on Fridays from 5:30 to 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 6:30 to 7 p.m. on Cablevision Channel 88 (Public Access). Or see it at www.aboutweston.com.