Affordable housing building proposed at Ridgebury site
The affordable housing debate is coming to Ridgebury.
A nine-unit multifamily development is being proposed on a little over an acre in Ridgebury’s corporate development district (CDD) under the state’s 8-30g affordable housing law, which allows qualifying development plans to ignore most zoning regulations.
The plans are scheduled for a Jan. 14 public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission.
“This 1.17-acre site located in the CDD zone at the corner of Barnum Place and Turner Road is ideally suited for a modest and much needed affordable multifamily residential building,” attorney Brian Smith of Robinson & Cole wrote in a cover letter accompanying the application.
“There will be a grand total of nine residential units, three of which will be set aside as affordable. …”
In keeping with the dictates of the state’s 8-30g statute, the three affordable units will include two deemed within reach of households at 60 percent of the state’s median income, and one unit affordable to households at 80 percent of the state median income. The census lists the state median income as about $74,000 a year, based on figures from 2017.
The 8-30g law — allowing developers to circumvent zoning restrictions concerning things like residential density, minimum lot size, setback distances — is applicable only in towns or cities that have less than 10 percent of their housing stock qualifying as affordable under state guidelines.
“The last report issued by the Connecticut Department of Housing in 2018 shows that Ridgefield’s percentage of affordable housing units stood at 2.96 percent,” the application says. “We note that Ridgefield recently has done well in growing its affordable housing stock.”
Also in keeping with 8-30g’s rules, the units would all be of similar quality — regardless of the rental rate.
“The fit and finish of all nine units will be identical,” attorney Smith wrote. “The plan envisions nine spaces in parking garages along with additional parking spaces, sidewalks, utilities and retaining walls.”
While Ridgefield has had numerous affordable housing projects under the 8-30g law in recent years, nearly all of them have been in the village area on or near Main Street — where water and sewer service is available.
The Ridgebury corporate zone — with sewer lines from Danbury serving Boehringer Ingelheim and other properties, and Aquarion water service — is the only other area of town with both public sewer and water lines.
“Public health and safety has been adequately addressed as there is more than adequate sewage disposal capacity and public water supply,” attorney Smith wrote. “Fire protection will include a pressurized fire hydrant.”
The application was formally accepted by the Planning and Zoning Commission on Nov. 26. In addition to scheduling the Jan. 14 public hearing, commissioners added the site to properties they will walk on Sunday morning, Dec. 8.
The applicant is listed as Black Oaks LLC of 70 West St., Danbury.
The plans were done by architects from Stein & Troost LLC.