Questions raised by Planning and Zoning Commission members during a remote public hearing on a proposed 114-unit apartment development primarily focused on pedestrian safety, the potential impact on traffic flow to Waterbury Road, and whether a segment of units designated as moderate-income housing could truly be considered affordable.
The plans submitted by Stratford-based Lamp Realty, LLC call for two buildings on 22-acres at 50 Hazel Drive, which overlooks Larsens Pond, on the west end.
The Planning and Zoning Commission opened its public hearing on the proposal during a 4-hour meeting Monday, July 13. That public hearing will continue at the next commission meeting, scheduled July 27.
Lamp Realty is seeking a zoning map change — to accommodate the affordable housing development — and approval of a special permit application.
The site had formerly housed Lake View Convalescent Home, which shut and was completely vacated by 2005, according to the developers. The current owners of the site purchased it in 2007. The previous owners sought to develop condominiums on the site, but did not pursue the plan, citing market developments.
Developers began pursuing the current proposal after the town adopted its affordable housing plan.
The plan calls for studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartment units. One-quarter of them, or 29, would be designated as affordable housing units for moderate-income households.
Developers described the income range that the units would serve would be up to $54,000 annual salary for the studio and one-bedroom units and $65,000 for the two-bedroom units. Developers based the incomes levels, about 80% of the median income in Cheshire, on the town’s affordable housing regulations.
Attorney Joe Williams, of the firm Shipman & Goodwin, speaking on behalf of Lamp Realty, said he expects the apartments will attract police officers, firefighters and teachers.
“The documentation clearly shows the need for affordable housing is substantial and undeniable,” Williams told the commission Monday night. “It's especially true for the middle of the market, who wish to rent as opposed to buy, and are clearly underserved.”