The Cheshire Planning and Zoning Commission continued to discuss the proposed 114-unit affordable housing apartment complex on Tuesday, July 29. The complex will be located at 50 Hazel Dr.
The development has created some controversy in recent weeks, as well as discussion on the Cheshire Community Facebook Forum, with many residents expressing concerns over the plans. Those opposed to the project have been sending letters to the Planning and Zoning Commission and multiple petitions regarding both the complex and the requested zone map change that would allow for the complex to be constructed.
“The petitions to stop the zone change has 152 signatures—33 of them were out of town and three did not provide an address,”Environmental Planner Suzanne Simone said. “The petition to stop the Hazel Drive special permit application from being on the agenda until there are in-person meetings had 165 signatures, with 31 of those being (from) out of town.”
During the meeting, Simone read multiple letters from concerned residents into the record, many of whom expressed fear that the apartment complex will increase traffic, create multiple parking issues, and cause many other burdens for the current neighbors.
“I believe that it is important and more effective that this meeting be held in person in order for us to publically discuss these issues with the Planning and Zoning commission members,” wrote Elizabeth York, whose submitted letter was read aloud for the PZC. “I support postponing any discussion on this until we can do so.”
The project, which would be completed by Lamp Realty, LLC, calls for 114 studio, one, and two-bedroom apartment units be built, with roughly one quarter of the units designated as “affordable housing”.
Commissioner Sean Strollo asked Dave Sullivan, a representative of Lamp Realty, about the parking issues that were of concern to many residents. Strollo also mentioned a pandemic-related phenomenon that he feels may require some of the parking plans at the complex to be reconsidered.
“Because of the pandemic, people are staying home much more. People are going to be staying home and not leaving; they're bunking up,” said Strollo. “So that might turn that one bedroom into a place where people are staying there for efficiency and they might have additional cars.”
The fate of the project remains undecided and commissioners stated that the public hearing will be continued until the next Planning and Zoning meeting, which is set for Sept. 14. The Planning and Zoning Commission has no meetings scheduled for the month of August.