Master Plan for Westport’s Premiere Waterfront Park

Westport Compo Beach Master Plan

Project

Westport Compo Beach Master Plan

Location

Westport, CT

Client

Town of Westport Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee

AKRF is preparing a Master Plan to establish a long-term vision for the Town of Westport’s Compo Beach. The Master Plan will serve as a “blueprint” for future improvements to the Town’s premiere waterfront park.

The vision of the Master Plan is to establish an implementable and phased plan that respects the history of Compo Beach, builds on its existing strengths, and improves the overall user experience through facility, pedestrian, traffic, and landscaping improvements. The goal is to refresh a much loved Town asset by enhancing and highlighting its natural beauty without taking away its charm.

Compo Beach is a 29-acre waterfront recreation area that includes a swimming beach, marina, boat launches, barbeque areas, sports facilities, bathhouse, and playground. It is located along a fragile coast that has experienced significant storm damage over the past few years. The park is entirely within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 100-year floodplain (Zones AE and VE) and State Coastal Boundary. Improvements to Compo Beach will be done in accordance with the Connecticut Coastal Management Act (CCMA).

The project objectives are to:

  • Improve the traffic flow at the beach entrance, as well as circulation throughout the park
  • Improve safety by elevating the profile of pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Create new pedestrian pathways and biking loops within the park
  • Evaluate the condition and usage of existing facilities with the park, as well as the feasibility of constructing new facilities or relocating existing facilities
  • Recommend landscape improvements, including a palette of low maintenance, hardy native plants suitable for aesthetic as well as storm resiliency benefits
  • Review and evaluate potential flood impact and protection

To this end, the Master Plan includes the following features:

  • Redesigned entrance way to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety
  • New pedestrian pathways around the perimeter of the park with exercise stations and quiet places to rest and enjoy views of the Long Island Sound
  • Redesigned bath house, cabanas, and refreshment facilities
  • New roundabout to organize and improve traffic flow through the park
  • Redesigned marina area with new promenade
  • Improved organization of boat storage area
  • Retention of unobstructed parking spaces with views of the sunrise at the east beach and sunset by the boat launches
  • Retention of a driving loop around the beach for vehicles and bicycles
  • Reconfiguration of the main parking area to create additional shade and improve pedestrian connections to the beach areas
  • Addition of new bathrooms and open air pavilion to the south beach
  • New central activity lawn for picnicking and special events

The Master Planning process included an extensive public engagement component, including a community charrette, interactive website, and public outreach media campaign

Municipal & Regional Planning Overview