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Friday, March 30, 2007

Commission Considering Affordable Housing Changes

By Jennifer Connic

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Rick Redniss: explains affordable housing proposal. File photo
The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission tonight reviewed a proposal that would revise the town’s affordable housing regulations.

The proposal comes from Woodland Group, and the zone would be applied to a property on Indian Hill and Bradley Lane area. The commission will continue the hearing on April 5.

Rick Redniss, consultant for Woodland Group, said the regulations would split the affordable housing type into two parts.

Under the changes, he said, 20 percent of the units would have to be for those who make 80 percent of the state median income, and 10 percent would have to be those who earn 80 percent of the local median income.

“There is a significant difference there,” Redniss said. “We feel that’s a good thing.”

Additionally, the number of units would be rounded up under the regulations, he said.

If the number of units that have to be deemed affordable is 5.1 by the math, he said, it would have to be rounded up to six.

P&Z Director Laurence Bradley said the staff believes the regulation changes could start to fill a need that has not been addressed before, but the staff has raised a number of issues, including typographical problems in the regulations.

Additionally, the neighbors in the Indian Hill area have concerns that they want answered, he said.

Some have said the development could work in the neighborhood if the developer does everything he has promised them, he said.

Dave Loffredo, of Indian Hill, said the neighbors have met with the developer a number of times, and there are concerns that could be addressed not only in the site plan but with the text amendment.

The neighborhood is a cul-de-sac, he said, and there are few cars and a lot of children.

The development could add 38 cars to the neighborhood, he said, and it would destroy the property values and the quality of life.

Something needs to be done to keep the cars away from the neighborhood, he said.

Brendan McCarthy, of Indian Hill, said he also has the same concerns about the neighborhood and the safety of the children.

More importantly, he’s concerned if the commission did not approve the regulations because it would not mean nothing is developed in the neighborhood, he said.

The applicant would come back with an application under the state affordable housing law, he said, and it would mean something more dense with more traffic.

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Posted 03/30/07 at 02:15 AM  Permalink



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