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140-Unit Residential Development Proposed In Shelton

by Fred Musante | Feb 24, 2013 6:27 pm

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Posted to: Shelton

FRED MUSANTE

A residential development encompassing a 60-unit subdivision of single-family homes and an 80-unit multi-family condominium complex has been proposed in Shelton.

The project would be located on a 40-acre parcel — bounded to the east by Route 8, to the south by Beard Sawmill Road and to the west and north by Long Hill Cross Road — owned by the the estate of the Wells family.

The proposal has already drawn opposition. At a Shelton Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Feb. 19, commissioner Joan Flannery was so opposed she voted against even scheduling the application for a public hearing.

The commission did so anyway over Flannery’s objection and set the hearing date for March 27 in City Hall.

The applicants, Hawks Ridge of Shelton, LLC, wrote in their application that the development is consistent with the Shelton Plan of Conservation and Development, and included a consultant’s report predicting that it would result in only a minimal impact on the city’s school enrollment.

The current application is only for the first phase of the development.

About 30 percent of the parcel, the section nearest Beard Sawmill Road, is reserved for a second phase, which the applicant said might be used for “either an assisted living facility or additional upscale rental units.”

The applicants are identified as Albert J. Grasso, of Beech Tree Hill, principal of Prestige Builders LLC, along with city residents Joe Salemme and Lou Salemme.

A map with the application shows a 60-lot subdivision of single-family houses at the north end of the property with access onto Long Hill Cross Road. At the center of the property is the 80-unit, multi-family condominium complex.

The condominium complex would have its own access driveway to Long Hill Cross Road allowing residents to enter and leave without traveling through the subdivision, although the subdivision residents could share the condominium’s access driveway.

FRED MUSANTEThe application says the total area of the parcel is 1,350,600 square feet. The proposed density is 4.5 units per acre. Parking provides for two spaces for each of the single-family houses, one space for each of the condominium units and 0.85 spaces per unit for visitors.

A section of the southwest corner of the property, which has a rocky hillside and a patch of wetlands, is reserved for open space.

While the applicants say the proposal is consistent with the Shelton Plan for Conservation and Development, they are actually requesting a zone change to create a Planned Development District, because the land is currently zoned for industrial and light industrial use — not residential.

The applicants also say the proposed PDD is “compatible with the future and current character” of Shelton. Their proposal states: “the parcel is not suited for most retail uses because of its lack of visibility from Bridgeport Avenue.” They also dismiss its potential for commercial office use, which they said is “highly unlikely” because of the available office buildings in that area.

“The need for alternative housing in the Route 8 corridor has been shown by the success of existing rental properties with access to Bridgeport Avenue,” the proposal states.

The project is one of several residential developments currently in the works in Shelton.

Developers seeking to put a 252-unit complex on 11 acres of land at 740 Bridgeport Ave. also requested a zone change to a PDD because they see the area as a lucrative market for residential development, but not for commercial or industrial development.

Construction is also nearing completion at a large, 250-unit Avalon Bay apartment complex along Canal Street in downtown Shelton.

A consultant for the latest application, Data Core Partners of New Haven, projected that the 140 proposed housing units would only increase Shelton school enrollment by 37 students.

It said it projects only 0.26 students per household, “well below the level of 0.35 students per household currently seen in Shelton,” because the proposal “emphasizes two-bedroom units,” a factor that it believes would reduce the average children per family.

It projected the city would gain $1,218,734 annually in real and personal property taxes if the development is built, which would more than offset the projected additional $555,906 in school expenses and the $466,535 cost for non-education municipal services.

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