Multifamily housing is coming to Schlumberger.
The Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5-3 in favor of a rezone application that will convert 10 of the property’s 45 acres from B-2 non-retail business zone to Multifamily Dwelling Development District, or MFDD zone, Tuesday night.
The commission also voted 6-1 in favor of an amendment to the town’s zoning regulations that will remove the limitation on the number of multifamily units that could share a common entry based on height.
“My concern is that MFDD allows for six units per acre and what’s going on here is that we are creating a condition for any zone to be amended,” said Commissioner Michael Autuori, who was opposed in both votes.
Vice Chairman Patrick Walsh and Commissioner John Katz also opposed the 10-acre rezoning off Sunset Lane where a maximum of 45 units are planned.
Chairwoman Rebecca Mucchetti cut off Mr. Autuori before he could finish his reasoning for rejecting the proposal, claiming the scope of his comments were outside what the commission was voting on.
At a public hearing in June, neighbors and townspeople opposed to the town’s proposal raised the issue of the density of the homes.
“How is it in keeping with the neighborhood?” said JoAnn Motta, who owns two houses on Sunset Lane. “It’s a blue collar working-class neighborhood of very modest homes.”
The MFDD zone allows for six units an acre, and up to eight units if a portion of them meet “affordable” standards.
The amendmen allows buildings to be three and one-half stories and up to 45 feet high, rather than the current two and one-half stories and 35 feet.
“I believe the MFDD zone is certainly fitting there,” Commissioner Joe Fossi said in June. “Certainly everything around it is high density, MFDD or B-2. It backs up to the Great Swamp, so the height’s not a problem.”
Only half of the 10 acres are suitable for development, according to First Selectman Rudy Marconi.
“We’re looking at 40 units, plus or minus above five, in that area,” he said in June. “We know that half the property under the new language will be open space…
“We don’t see ourselves pushing the envelope or allowing whoever buys the property to push the envelope.”