Zemo wants 16 units at 100 Danbury Road

Seeking 16 new rental units — five of them affordable — real estate developer and town Selectman Steve Zemo wants to enlarge a Danbury Road apartment building. His application under the state’s affordable housing law, 8-30g, has been scheduled for a June 25 public hearing of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The property at 100 Danbury Road, across Route 35 from Copps Hill Plaza, already has a 43-unit apartment building, an office building, and a Union Savings Bank branch.
Zemo’s Ridgefield Apartments Inc. proposes an addition to the apartment building — with 12 two-bedroom units and four one-bedrooms units.
The market-rate units would rent for between $1,600 and $1,950 a month, according to Zemo.
Five units are meant to be rented at reduced rates under the state’s affordable housing law.
The law, Section 8-30g, allows developments with at least 30% of their units meeting state affordable guidelines to be built without adhering to most local zoning regulations, including density.
What the affordable rents would be is calculated under a state formula designed to make them reasonable for families making 80% and 60% of the state’s median income.
According to assistant planner Daniel Robinson the median income is now around $100,000 a year and in the most recently approved 8-30g project in town two-bedroom units rented for about $1,200 a month at the 60% level and $1,600 at the 80% level.
The planned addition would have a community room on the first floor, and a new patio and garden area. The plans also call for more parking spaces.
The area to be redeveloped with the 16-unit addition was formerly occupied by a day care center, and outdoor play area. The day care operation closed in 2009, Zemo said.
The Planning and Zoning Commission and Inland Wetlands Board accepted the application from Ridgefield Apartments at its May 14 meeting. The application seeks the zoning approval under 8-30g, including permission for work in an aquifer protection zone, and also a summary ruling of the wetlands board.
The proposal involves a 1.5 acre parcel at 100 Danbury Road and a half acre off Farmingville Road, between Ligi’s Way and the car-wash site. Zemo plans a planted berm on the Farmingville property, and would designate parts of it for reserve parking and for potential future use.