Newtown Planners Mull Multiple Housing Development Zone

Land Use Director George Benson said no proposal is yet on the table, but it might be better to create one before a developer makes an application.

City planners have given thought to creating a new zoning regulation for apartments similar to one recently formed in neighboring Monroe.

Director of Planning and Land Use George Benson said a new Multiple Housing Development Zone could benefit Newtown by allowing higher density, market-rate apartments and condominiums, but only with more control by the Planning & Zoning Commission (PZC).

He stressed that there is no rush to create the new zoning. No developer has applied for one. But he said that makes it the best time to do it, because the PZC would only have to consider its own priorities and not an applicant’s.

In July, the PZC voted it had no objection to Monroe’s new Neighborhood Apartment Residence Overlay zone, which requires that at least 65 percent of the units are one-bedroom or studios and the development must be within 1,000 feet, walking distance, of a shopping center.

Monroe needed Newtown’s consent because it planned to put the new zone close to the town line. If Newtown had opposed it, Monroe’s zoning commission would needed more than a simple majority to pass it.

What Newtown has in mind is slightly different than Monroe’s new zone, but Benson noted it would also be an overlay zone that gives the PZC more discretion over the development’s design and unit density.

He said the history goes back to 2004 when developer Guri Dauti won a lawsuit against Newtown to allow a condominium complex on Church Hill Road under the state’s affordable housing law.

That lawsuit rewrote the town’s affordable housing regulations, increasing the unit density from four to six units per usable acre.

Benson said the Multiple Housing Development Zone might be set at six units per acre, and the affordable housing zone raised to eight units per acre.

He said the multiple housing zone would only be allowed in R2 and R3 zones where there are public water and sanitary sewer service, which would strictly limit it to the Route 6 and Route 25 corridors near I-84 Exit 9.

"It’s all in concept now," Benson cautioned. "We have a long way to go before anything is decided. We might decide in the end not even to do it."

Sam Mihailoff September 04, 2012 at 11:49 AM
David Kingsley September 04, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Worth considering as long as FFH is excluded.
Claudia Cooper September 04, 2012 at 01:31 PM
With about 28,000 residents, Newtown is NOT a city.
Claudia Cooper September 04, 2012 at 01:32 PM
I'm writing to correct the very first sentence in the story.
Capitalist September 04, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Would be great for senior citizens and young adults. Free enterprise is an economic system that provides individuals the opportunity to make their own economic decisions, free of government constraints, and as private profit-potential businesses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..The system allows for the privilege of individual ownership of property and the means of production. The key ingredient of the free enterprise system is the right of individuals to make their own choices in the purchase of goods, the selling of their products and their labor, and their participation in business structure. Our business system is based upon four basic principles: (I 1 freedom of choice; (2) private property rights; (3) profit motive of owners; and (4) owner contro
Ms R. September 04, 2012 at 09:28 PM
NO! I'll vote no every time for this!
Hermann Zwergel September 04, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Ms R.- very convincing, hard to argue with your reasoning.
Paul Harris September 04, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Monroe is the most screwed up town in Faifield County. We don't want to follow their lead on this one and wait for a developer to decide what he want's to do. We need to get out in front of this with a plan that will protect our community.
Ms R. September 05, 2012 at 01:10 AM
I don't need to leave reasoning. This area is for comments. I commented. As did you, you just added sarcasm.
yoda September 05, 2012 at 10:17 AM
Not if we add the new Police dept right next door!


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