Can’t afford to buy or rent in Westbrook? The town’s Affordable Housing Plan is designed to make a run at changing that. Currently, Westbrook has a lot of single-family and mobile homes, but few multiple-family homes, which are more likely to be available for rental. The town plan recommends a few things to address that:
In conjunction with this plan, DesegregateCT is working to provide more equitable and affordable housing statewide. This year, a proposed bill (House Bill 5429) is focused on transit-oriented housing support. It is targeting ~40 towns, Westbrook being one of them. Read their "one pager" giving points of emphasis.
“Affordable” is still pricey. For Westbrook, it means spending 30% or less of family income if a family earns less than 80% of the local median. For one person, 80% of the median would be $57,456 in income and for a family of three, the cutoff is $73,872. For these income thresholds, the maximum rent for a two-bedroom unit would be $1,329. That is not cheap, but local Democrats believe it is a step in the right direction. The town is aging and becoming less wealthy.
On Monday, April 11, the Town Planning Commission will hold a hearing on the plan. All are welcome to voice their concerns. The hearing will be at 7 pm at Mulvey Municipal Center, 866 Boston Post Road, in the Multi-Media Room, and all residents are welcome to attend and voice their opinions.
Other Town News
Cannabis in Westbrook?
Westbrook’s Zoning Commission took a "wait and see” approach to cannabis back in August, since no one had filed an application for a dispensary or grow facility. At the February Zoning meeting, the commission was informally
approached by individuals who were looking to apply for a “Mini Grow” license to open a facility between 5,000 and 7,000 sq ft in Westbrook (This license limits the facility to 10,000 sq ft) and possibly opening a retail dispensary at a later date.
Since the Planning, Zoning and Development Coordinator Eric Knapp left, Tyche Planning and Policy Group has been contracted to provide Planning a Zoning assistance to the town. Mike D’Amato (ZEO) will bring additional information and examples of regulations based on other municipalities to the March Zoning meeting for commission review.
Many people throughout the pandemic and lockdown thought “I wish there were more drive-throughs in Westbrook.” The Zoning Commission has changed the regulations to now allow drive-throughs, by approval of the Zoning Commission, in the Commercial Town Center District (CTC) and the Neighborhood Commercial District (NCD) in addition to the Turnpike Interchange Commercial District (TIC).
Town septic systemThe town has yet to act on applying for federal funding to support a town septic system. You can voice your support by writing a letter to the editor of Zip06.
SidewalksThe town has appropriated funding for a sidewalk from the Valley Shore YMCA down to Rte 153, but Democrats want to make sure we protect our investment and have adequate funds in the maintenance budget for repairs.
Pistol PermitsNow you can apply for a pistol permit online. (But you still cannot vote online!).
SchoolsThe Westbrook Board of Education passed the budget for the school district unanimously, with a 1.34% increase over last year. The budget will now be reviewed by the Board of Finance.
The school mask mandate was removed on the last day of February. Each district will now have its own options.
UkraineNow that Russia has invaded Europe’s largest nation, Ukraine, and is bombing maternity hospitals and fleeing children, the national Republican Party has still failed to come to terms with its vociferous support for Vladimir Putin and opposition to Ukraine. Members on the far right are still supporting Russia, while the party mainstream has quietly moved to Ukraine’s side.
Tucker Carlson on Fox News said viewers should ask themselves: “Why do I hate Putin so much? Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him?” His coverage has been so successful in supporting Putin’s position that Russian government memos sent to pro-Putin media outlets said that "it is essential" they feature Tucker Carlson in their coverage.
U.S. Representative Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) (who apologized to voters for allowing the 2020 election to occur) called Ukraine President Zelensky a “thug” and said the Ukrainian government has been “pushing woke ideologies.”
“I gotta be honest with you, I don’t really care what happens to Ukraine one way or another,” said Republican Senate candidate from Ohio, J.D. Vance.
It is worth remembering that Donald Trump was impeached for conditioning military aid to Ukraine on support in the 2020 election. The GOP has now voted to extend that aid to Ukraine.
It would be as if Joe Biden had chaired the Osama Bin Laden Friendship Society – and no one mentioned it after 9/11.
Local Republicans have failed to denounce the national party’s disgraceful support for Putin.
The Westbrook Democratic Town Committee in April plans a sign-waving event during which we will show our support for Ukrainians. If you support this event, please send an email to WDTC@westbrookdemocrats.org.
The Biden Boom
The economy has added a record 6.6 million jobs under Biden. Unemployment is down to 3.8%, and much of the credit goes to the American Rescue Plan. Which Republicans supported it? None.
Mask politicsClinton hired a temporary police officer to cope with one father’s threat to disrupt a basketball game on February 12. The previous week, Shawn Patrick Lessard became belligerent when asked to wear a mask during his daughter’s basketball game or leave the gym After creating a commotion with repeated refusals to mask, he was placed under arrest but threatened to return the following week without a mask.
State Senator Norm Needleman
Deputy President Pro Tempore
Representing Westbrook and 11 other towns in the 33rd District
For More Information:
Sign up for Norm’s informative newsletter: http://www.senatedems.ct.gov/needleman-enews