Proposal raises the bar for Westport flood protection

The devastation that storms like Irene and Sandy has wreaked in shoreline neighborhoods like those in Westport has prompted local zoning officials to propose a change for those property owners hoping to get their homes out of harm’s way. At least a little.

The proposal — Amendment 656 — was developed by a subcommittee of Planning and Zoning Commission to make it easier for property owners who live in flood zones to elevate existing houses, according to a statement from Laurence Bradley, the town’s planning and zoning director.

“Many of the houses in the coastal areas of Westport are located in flood zones,” Bradley says in the statement on the amendment. “Also, many of them are built on very small lots and thus do not comply with setback or coverage regulations. Additionally, many of these areas have a 26-foot height limit.”

If the proposal is adopted by the P&Z, it would provide relief to many of these properties with respect to height, coverage and setbacks so that homes can be elevated above the 100-year flood level without asking for variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals, Bradley says.

The P&Z plans a public hearing on the amendment at its Thursday meeting, which gets under way at 7 p.m. in Town  Hall.

More details about proposed Amendment 656 can be found HERE.

John Schwing