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Affordable Housing Proposal On Tuesday’s TPZC Meeting Agenda

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Apr 032017
 

The Town Plan & Zoning Commission meets at Town Hall on Tuesday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m.

They have a short agenda this week, but it includes a controversial affordable housing proposal.

Following is the agenda:

  1. Review of the Minutes from the February 21, 2017 meeting.
  2. Required review as per Section 8-24, Municipal Improvements of the CT General Statutes.  Request to abandon a portion of Indian River Road adjacent to 273 Indian River Road.   
  1.  Old Business.
  1.   New Business.
  1.  Report of the Zoning Enforcement Officer.

          -Review of Zoning Activities Log.

  1.  T.P.Z.C. Representation on the South Central Regional Council of Governments.

PUBLIC HEARINGS *(1)

  1. APPLICATION FOR MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT WITH AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS AS PER 8-30G OF THE CT GENERAL STATUTES – Submitted by Sixty Five Marsh Hill Road, LLC for property known as 65-69 Marsh Hill Road and 0 & 15 Salemme Lane.  The mixed use development has underground parking, commercial and residential components.  Sixty apartments are proposed.  There will be 18 Affordable Units.  A SITE PLAN APPLICATION has been submitted. (Continued from the February 21, 2017 meeting.)

This is a controversial proposal because there is disagreement whether or not it is ok to submit/pursue affordable housing in this zone.  It would be part of the TODD (train station) overlay but it IS a separate project.

Notes in a Nutshell: Aug. 18 Town Plan & Zoning — Affordable Housing

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Aug 182015
 

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 8.19.16 PMThe Town Plan & Zoning Commission met at the Town Hall on Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Chairman Walter Clark was not there, so Judy Smith presided over the meeting.

Report of Zoning Enforcement Officer

Zoning Enforcement Officer Paul Dinice has been policing the Boston Post Road.

Buttonball fines continue to accumulate, nearly $40,000 at this point.

PUBLIC HEARING 

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 8.01.03 PMThis plan was discussed at the July 7 meeting.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING 8-30g APPLICATION – 504-506 Boston Post Road.  Submitted by AMP Investments LLC, for property known as 504-506 Boston Post Road.  The proposal is for an adaptive reuse of the rear building of the property currently known as 504 Boston Post Road. The intent is to make the plaza a mixed use Retail-Residential property with an 8-30g residential component.  Ten apartments are proposed.

Discussion: 

Jeff Gordon speaking on behalf of the applicant: Below Market Rate Units are proposed.

30% have to be affordable 2 60% units and 1 80% unit would be provided here. (I suggest watching this on OGAT Video on Demand for Gordon’s detailed explanation when it is posted).

These will be rental apartments. The building owner would upgrade the apartments, making them more valuable and more taxes for the town with 2 80% units and 1 60% unit if the commission does not force them to go through an appeal process.

Rent would be 60% 1 bedroom unit $688 month plus $150 utilities (state formula calculation) 650sqft apt

Rent for 80% 2 bedroom unit $1,200+ plus utilities (state formula calculation) 875-1,300sqft

Resident Don Ludington and others in his neighborhood on Mallard Drive have concerns. their property abuts 506 Boston Post Road. They are afraid tenants will trash the wetlands as businesses had in the past. There is a danger to anyone who may have children because there is a very steep hill behind the building leading to the wetlands. Approval wouldn’t be in the best interest of the town, residents or other business owners.

No positive impact. The wetlands feeds into Indian Lake.

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 8.32.01 PMJim Garrand believes the plan should go through wetlands as well. The building was constructed as a furniture store overflow storage space and the builder illegally put a second floor on it many years ago. This is commercial space, if this goes in the entire town will be open to affordable housing.

This is the nesting area for Indian Lake, the wildlife could be in danger if it is developed as proposed and children are living there.

Gordon said the police commission, fire marshal and wetlands signed off on the application. The Units are not attractive to people with children. It’s really for empty nesters and older people.

“I know people get scared when they hear the words ‘affordable housing’ A 4 person family can have an income of $65,000 to be in the 80%,” Gordon said.

Commissioner Ralph Aschettino asked when the building was constructed. A quick records check showed that it was built in 2002.

Smith said the commissioners should all go and look at the property to see if there are safety issues with the drop off in the back as Mr. Ludington stated.

The public hearing was continued until the Sept. 1 TPZC meeting.