East Lyme Zoning Commission denies affordable housing plan

East Lyme - The Zoning Commission has unanimously voted to deny a revised application to build an affordable housing development in a light-industrial zone by Capital Drive and West Main Street in Niantic.

JAG Capital Drive LLC, the developer, had amended its application for the proposed "Rocky Neck Village" development after the commission denied the original proposal in March. The new application called for 60 units - nine fewer units than the original - and provided additional landscaping and buffer zones.

In a resolution approved at last Thursday's zoning meeting, the commission cited an exemption under state law for affordable housing applications in industrial zones in which residential uses are not allowed.

In a second section of the resolution, the commission stated that public interest concerns were greater than affordable housing needs and "reasonable changes" to the application could not address those concerns.

The commission said the proposed development would be in an area in which "manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, heavy truck travel, and the transportation and storage of toxic chemicals and substances" take place and referenced a chemical accident last year which led to evacuation of the industrial park.

If the commission had approved the development, "there is a quantifiable probability that specific harm will result to the public interests in health and safety," the commission concluded.

k.drelich@theday.com

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