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Ridgefield Affordable housing plans revealed

September 20, 2018

RIDGEFIELD — Affordable-housing developers and experts shared the details of a proposed affordable-housing development on Danbury Road with the Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday during the first public hearing on the project.

The 30-unit development, proposed by Charter Group Partners, would include apartment-style condiminiums for those age 55 and up. It has been submitted under state statute 8-30g, which allows developers to bypass certain local zoning rules if they set aside a number of units as affordable.

Martin Handshy, president of Charter Group Partners, said the developers chose the location in part because it neighbors Founders Hall, the town’s senior center, and the Parks and Recreation Department’s walking trails.

“We’re proposing a connector walkway so there’d be a direct route to get from the building to the (trails) and to Founders Hall,” Handshy said.

The developers, who built a similar 55-plus development on Sunset Lane, have said the building will continue to fill the town’s need for senior-living options.

The units will range from about 900 square feet to 1,200 square feet and offer one-bedroom and two-bedroom layouts, Handshy said. Nine of the 30 units will be set aside as affordable homes.

One of the consultants who spoke Wednesday was Mike Galante, a traffic engineer, who told the commission the development would add six to eight cars during peak traffic hours. He said the low number of additional traffic is because the building will house older residents who may not be commuting regularly to work.

“With an age-restricted development site, traffic tends to be more spread out,” Galante said.

Handshy told the commission the average age for the building likely would be 70 years or older, given his experience with the residents who live in Charter Group’s Sunset Lane building.

The public hearing was provided for the Inland Wetlands Board given the property’s proximity to a wetland system. A wetlands expert Wednesday said a “wet pond” on the site will mitigate the negative affect stormwater from the building might have on the nearby wetlands.

The Danbury Road proposal is one of three affordable-housing applications before the commission submitted under 8-30g. The town’s four-year moratorium on these types of developments, or at least the ability to invoke the statute during an appeals process, is set to expire in October.

Another two new buildings proposed as additions to the “Governor Street community” apartments on the corner of Governor Street and Prospect Ridge will face hearings in November.

aquinn@newstimes.com

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