Amendment Proposed for Westport Beach Nourishment Works

Planning & Zoning Director Mary Young has announced that on March 5, 2020 the Planning & Zoning Commission will review an amendment to the Westport Zoning Regulations, the Town of Westport, CT, reports. 

Image source: USACE

Authored by the Planning and Zoning Commission’s Zoning Regulation Revision Subcommittee, Text Amendment #775 proposes to add definitions and remove regulatory obstacles for property owners seeking to conduct beach nourishment or replenishment activities and reduce erosion on their properties abutting Long Island Sound.

Ms. Young explained that residents who own property adjacent to coastal waters frequently experience wave action resulting in beach depletion and land erosion.

Building berms and dunes are techniques to mitigate erosion.

This mitigation involves changing the existing topography or grades.  Currently such grade changes are subject to Special Permit/Site Plan approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission pursuant to §32-8, Excavation and Filling of Land.

Text Amendment #775 proposes exempting these grade changes from the excavation and fill requirements which were not originally intended to apply to beach nourishment or replenishment projects.

Currently, the excavation and fill regulations require the slope of sand dunes, and all manmade earth slopes, cannot exceed five (5) horizontal to one (1) vertical (20%).  In most cases, sand dunes are more effective with a slope greater than 20%.

Comments supporting the proposal were received from the State of CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection as well as the Westport Conservation Department.

A public hearing regarding these topics will be held on March 5, 2020 at 7:00 PM at Town Hall in Room Auditorium.