North Salem Road tear down could produce three affordable units

Two old multifamily houses would be torn down to make way for a nine-unit apartment building on half an acre at 5 North Salem Road, under a development plan put before the town under the state’s 8-30g affordable housing law — which allows developers to circumvent most zoning rules.

“The applicant is seeking approval of a nine-unit multifamily dwelling that meets the definition of a ‘set-aside development’ under Connecticut General Statute 8-30g, with three units to be affordable for a period of 40 years in accordance with the statute,” attorney Robert Jewell wrote in the cover letter submitted with the proposal.

The Planning and Zoning Commission officially accepted the application Tuesday night, July 30, and scheduled the plan for a public hearing on Sept. 24.

“The project includes the demolition of the two existing two-family residences and redevelopment of the site with one apartment building which will include nine residential units in accordance with Connecticut General Statute 8-30g for Affordable Housing,” Jewell’s letter says.

Half-acre lot

The property is a little under half an acre, on the west side of North Salem Road near its three-way intersection with Main Street and Danbury Road. The property is between the Citibank parking lot across from Tony’s Deli and an affordable housing project done at 7 North Salem Road by Michael Eppoliti.

The area is an R-20 zone, which allows houses on lots of 20,000 square feet each. The property owner is Kung H. Wei

The plans call for 19 parking spaces, including one handicap space.

The state’s 8-30g law limits towns’ ability to turn down development projects, as long as at least 30 percent of the residential units meet state affordability guidelines.

An affordability plan submitted as part of the application details how the property would be managed to meet the 8-30g statute, which require that 30 percent of dwelling units be affordable, split between apartments affordable by families at 60 percent of the state median income, and families at 80 percent of the median income.

Three of the new building’s nine units would be “set-aside” units — two affordable by families earning 60 percent of state median income, and one affordable by a family making 80 percent of the state median.

Calculated from a state median income of $96,300, the maximum rent for the unit affordable for families at 80 percent of median would be $1,578 a month, and for the two units set aside for families making 60 percent or less of the state median, the maximum rents would be $1,145 a month.

Affordable next door

The neighboring 7 North Salem Road project by Eppoliti has 15 apartments, of which five are affordable. It, too, involved replacing two older houses with a single new apartment building

Eppoliti went through the approval process in 2011 and 2012, but didn’t start construction until July 2016 and was opened for occupancy in October 2017.

“We were 70 percent pre-leased during construction,” Eppoliti told The Press, “100 percent leased within one month of completion and have been 100 percent leased ever since.”