Sixteen new apartments \u2014 five of them affordable under state guidelines \u2014 are being planned at 100 Danbury Road, just across Route 35 from Copps Hill Plaza. But despite the busy location, with 1,500 cars passing by in the morning commuter hour, they\u2019re not expected to be highly visible.The 16 apartments are proposed as an addition to a 43-unit apartment building already at the rear of a property. The site also contains the Union Savings Bank toward the front and an office building near the back along Ligi\u2019s Way.\u201cWhen you\u2019re driving down Danbury Road, unless you\u2019re looking for these buildings you don\u2019t see them,\u201d attorney Robert Jewell told the Planning and Zoning Commission.Jewel represented the applicant, Ridgefield Apartments Inc. \u2014 owned by Steve Zemo, a town selectman \u2014 at a June 25 public hearing, which was extended to resume July 23.Zemo\u2019s property at 100 Danbury Road is a 1.47-acre site, and the application also involves an adjoining 0.59-acre parcel off Ligi\u2019s Way that would be used mostly for parking. Both parcels are in a B-3 business zone.The new apartments are proposed under the state affordable housing law, 8-30g, which allows developers to circumvent most zoning restrictions on projects that set aside at least 30% of the units for rental or sale under state affordability guidelines.\u201cIt\u2019s hard to argue this is not an appropriate place for affordable housing,\u201d Jewell said. \u201cThe state has determined towns like Ridgefield have a compelling need for affordable housing. If we can tuck it away where it seems like this belongs\u2026\u201dThe 8-30g law requires that half the 30% of units that are set aside for 40 years be affordable \u2014 meaning housing cost consumes only one third of family income \u2014 by people earning 60 percent of state median income, with the other half affordable by people at 80 percent of state median income.Based on a state median income of $96,300, a draft affordability plan for the project states that the maximum rental rates for two-bedroom affordable units would be $1,246 for families with incomes at 60 percent of the state median income and $1,679 for families earning 80 percent of the state median. The projected rental rates for one-bedroom units would be about $1,000 a month for a family at 60 percent of state median income and about $1,400 for a family at 80 percent, according to the town\u2019s assistant planner, Daniel Robinson.Of the five new apartments meant to qualify as affordable, one would be a one-bedroom unit and four would have two bedrooms.Traffic, accidentsMike Valenti of Frederick Clark Associates said the 16 added units could be expected to add another six to eight vehicle trips to the peak hour traffic on Danbury Road, which he admitted was heavy.He told the commission there were 1,300 to 1,500 two-way trips between 8 and 9 a.m.\u201cThere\u2019s a significant number of accidents,\u201d Valenti said. \u201cForty accidents over a three-year period on Danbury Road from Farmingville to South Street.\u201dStill, he didn\u2019t expect the development would add significantly to the area\u2019s traffic problems.\u201cWhen you add six to eight vehicle trips, it\u2019s really not going to change anything.\u201dThe parking plan for the enlarged apartment building calls for 59 spaces assigned to apartment residents, 35 guest spaces, and five spaces for the handicapped. Some of the parking would be on the adjoining half-acre parcel off Ligi\u2019s Way.Jewell said the plan was to not build some of the parking spaces shown on the site plan, since there are many spaces there now that don\u2019t get used. Many of the building\u2019s residents \u2014who are mostly senior citizens \u2014 don\u2019t have cars, he said.\u201cI drive by there six times a day,\u201d said Jewell, whose office is nearby. \u201cI\u2019ve never seen that lot full.\u201dCommissioners seemed to like the idea of leaving a number of the parking spaces undeveloped \u2014 until either the owner or the commission decides more parking area is needed.\u201cNot necessarily downtown, but out of town, many parking lots are overbuilt and underutilized,\u201d said Commissioner Joe Fossi.Community roomArchitect Scott Yates described the addition to the building.The exterior architecture would be clapboard siding and mansard roof \u2014 \u201cbasically identical to what\u2019s there now,\u201d he said.\u201cWe\u2019re providing a community room,\u201d he said, and people living in the main building will be welcome there, as well as residents of the new units.\u201cIt forms a community with the existing building,\u201d he said.