To encourage socializing among Ballard Green’s senior citizen residents, plans for a patio and pavilion at the 63-unit housing complex were swiftly and unanimously approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

“There’s been a lot of publicity about the difficulty of loneliness,” Housing Authority Chairman Frank Coyle told the commission before its vote Tuesday night, Nov. 12.

The Ballard Green complex is at 25 Gilbert Street, behind Ballard Park.

The planned pavilion would overlook the park — it’ll be about 50 feet from the park’s property line, Coyle said.

The park has a playground where young children have fun.

The park is also the site of outdoor CHIRP concerts in the warmer weather — at least once a week most of the summer.

The patio and pavilion would be about 560 square feet in size.

If the patio and pavilion are intended for “the use of the people of Ballard Green,” Commissioner Charles Robbins asked, how will the Housing Authority control use of the facilities by others?

Coyle didn’t see it as a problem.

“We’re part of the town,” he said. “A lot of people pass through.”

The project will not be financed with money from the Housing Authority or its tenants.

“This will be funded by donations,” Coyle said, “from the Thrift Shop.”