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Zoners again table North Street plan

With the problematic wetlands application still unresolved, the Planning and Zoning Commission again tabled action on a proposed six-unit affordable housing development proposed at 24 North Street.

Acting as the Inland Wetlands Board Tuesday night, Feb. 19, commissioners again discussed Ridgefield Modular Home Corp.’s application for a summary ruling to allow “disturbance and activity within the upland review area” of a wetland.

After reviewing an extensive report from the wetlands board’s engineering consultants on the plan, Milone & MacBroom, members voted to have Town Planner Betty Brosius draft a carefully worded resolution of denial referencing shortcomings found in the wetlands application.

After the wetlands application gets a final vote at a future meeting — almost certainly a denial, it appears — the Planning and Zoning Commission will take up the zoning application for a six-apartment complex proposed on about four-tenths of an acre.

The plan was put forward under the state’s affordable housing statute, 8-30g, which allows developers to circumvent most local zoning restrictions if they make 30% of the housing units in a proposed development “affordable” under state guidelines.

Commissioners are anticipating a court battle following the denial they appear to be working toward.

Although the applicants had reduced their plan from 11 units to six, in reworking the plan a number of engineering issues had come up, many relating to the neighborhood’s difficult storm drainage.

Commissioners had sought more time to get questions about the proposal answered. But at the last public hearing session, on Jan. 29, the applicants said they felt they’d done all they could to accommodate the doubts of commissioners and the opposition of neighbors, who had been hostile to the plan from the outset.

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