Five lots sought on Barry Avenue in Ridgefield

Plans for a five-lot subdivision of 10 acres off Barry Avenue have been scheduled for a June 25 public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission and Inland Wetlands Board.

The property at 99 Barry Avenue is owned by Nancy N. Montanari Revocable Trust, and the applicant is the local construction firm Sturges Brothers Inc.

There as an existing house, which is expected to remain and would be served by a driveway off Barry Avenue. The subdivision would create four additional lots for new houses. The new lots would be served off an accessway.

An accessway is more like a shared driveway than a town road, and the applicant is also proposing amendments to the town regulations that would raise the current limit of three houses allowed on an accessway, permitting up to five houses. Currently, if a developer proposes building a road to serve more than three houses, it would be required to meet construction standards for size and quality that would allow it to eventually be accepted as a town road.

The proposed amendments to the accessway regulation were scheduled for a separate public hearing on June 4.

The subdivision plan is proposed under the town’s “planned residential development” or “PRD” regulation, which allows clustering of houses on relatively small lots so long as the total acreage is enough to accommodate a traditional subdivision — which in this zone would mean a two-acre lot for each of the five houses.

While clustering houses under the PRD regulations was once quite popular among developers, commission discussion during formal acceptance of the plans at the May 14 meeting suggested that clustering is no longer so widely used.

“When was the last PRD in Ridgefield?” commission member George Halon asked.

Some commissioners thought the last PRD was Palmer Court, others suggested a development off Golf Lane.

“We don’t see many PRDs,” said Chairwoman Rebecca Mucchetti.