Concerned over the pace of development in the city, O’Hara wants to look at the situation and discuss a possible freeze or slow down on new development.

“We really need to know whether residential building in Westbrook has reached a (saturation point),” said O’Hara. “If we’re at a saturation point, do we need to have a moratorium or only sell a certain number of spots per year? Has the pendulum swung too far in the residential direction? We need a balance.”

Bryant said that the city has not yet reached the “saturation” point. Bryant said the Westbrook school population has decreased in the last 10 years and the city’s sewer system is taxed less by residential growth than commercial or industrial growth. Also, traffic has seen no significant changes from in-city growth. Bryant said any increase in traffic has come from people coming from other towns to work and shop.

Bryant said he felt state law, which allows for moratoriums under crisis situations, would not allow for one in Westbrook. “There’s no legal justification for a moratorium right now,” he said. “If we want to change the ordinance to make residential development more difficult, we can do that. (But) this is a policy preference as opposed to a crisis situation.”


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