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Concept plan for Notch Hill Village in North Branford submitted to the North Branford Planning and Zoning Commission. Image from North Branford Planning and Zoning Dept. )
On Thurs. Oct. 4, a public hearing will continue on two applications impacting a proposed “active lifestyle community” of 216 units off Notch Hill Road, to be called “Notch Hill Village.” The hearing will be part of the Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) regular meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall, 909 Foxon Road.
The public hearing opened on Sept. 6 and is being continued with an extension granted by the applicant, Mungerbrook Associates LLC. A design plan submitted to the town shows an age-restricted housing development (ARHD) of several phases on approximately 90 acres of property between 50 Fowler Road, which is currently zoned industrial and mainly undeveloped; and two lots at 239 and 245 Notch Hill Road which are currently zoned residential. All of the properties are owned by the applicant.
Mungerbrook Associates is seeking text amendment changes to the town’s zoning codes for age restrictions for elderly housing and Age-Restricted Housing Development zones (ARHD). ARHD zones currently call for the majority of the development’s occupants to be age 55 and over as well allowing a minority under the age 55; while elderly housing specifies 100 percent must be age 55 and over. The change would call for allowing 80 percent occupancy of elderly housing developments to be ages 55 and over; and 20 percent ages 18 – 55; and incorporate language showing both the elderly housing and ARHD developments comply with federal statutes calling for 80 percent-20 percent occupancy. The developer is also seeking to change the zoning for the combined parcels to ARHD. The town’s zoning code currently allows for ARHD’s as an “overlay zone,” which can be approved by the PZC to allow denser age-restricted housing on property sharing industrial and residential zones.
A concept plan submitted to the PZC for Notch Hill Village shows a multiphase development with a mix of 103 single family units, 13 duplexes and three apartment buildings with a total of 100 units, with the apartment buildings to be constructed as the last phase, said Town Planner Carey Duques.
The bulk of the development’s housing units would be constructed on mainly undeveloped property belonging to 50 Fowler Road, but the proposed main driveway for Notch Hill Village enters from 239/245 Notch Hill Road. Both Notch Hill Road parcels are under 40,000 square feet, with one single family home currently on each lot. Both homes were built before North Branford adopted its R-40 zoning which calls for one home per 40,000 square feet, noted Duques. If designated as part of an ARHD zone, Notch Hill Village proposes to build six single housing units on the combined Notch Hill Road lots, said Duques.
The PZC has already heard from some Notch Hill Road area residents with concerns about issues such as increased traffic, estimated to be another 400 vehicles, and the density of the number of units, especially along Notch Hill Road, said Duques.
“The schematic shows a total of six homes on the two parcels that would be part of this new ARHD zone; so that’s where the concern has come in from a few residents about the number of homes that could be allowed there. And also having the driveway there, there are concerns about traffic,” said Duques.
Members of the PZC are carefully considering the implications of the text amendment changing elderly development populations from 100 percent to 80 percent age 55 and over, she added.
“Most of the discussion at the last meeting [Sept. 20] was about the text amendment, because what the applicant is looking to do is allow for 80 percent of the 55-and-over under elderly development. That’s the change from the 100 percent 55-and-over that’s been in place,” said Duques.