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    Saturday, August 13, 2022

    Waterford planning commission approves zone change for housing project

    Waterford — The Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday approved a zone change that will allow for 40 housing units on Great Neck Road.

    The commission voted 3-1, with member Kenneth Petrini dissenting, to approve a rezoning application by Adam’s Builders LLC of Waterford to change from industrial to a planned design district, which allows more flexibility in design than a normal residential district in areas such as density, yard size, preservation of open space and amenities.

    Robert Creutz of Village Drive in Waterford, which abuts the property at 48 Great Neck Road, was present at the meeting to express his concerns about the development’s proximity to his home.

    “My personal concern is that we’ll have our houses on Village Drive lose value because this dense mass of houses (would be) peeking through the woods,” he said.

    The rezoning application received a favorable report from Town Planner Mark Wujtewicz in a letter to the commission dated May 24, which stated that the proposed development is in line with the natural resources and residential development policies of the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development, approved in 2012 and amended in 2015.

    The zoning change will allow for the proposed development, designated “Ivy Hill,” composed of 40 detached single-family and duplex-style condominium units that are anticipated to sell for $299,000 and have a $275-per-month association fee, according to documents.

    Four of the units will be considered affordable housing. Housing is considered to be affordable if an individual or family who earns 80% of a town's median income will spend no more than 30% of its income on housing. In Waterford, 80% of the median income is $82,160 per year for a family of four, so affordable housing would allow them to spend no more than $24,648 per year on housing including utilities, taxes and associated costs.

    Petrini expressed concerns about the project, saying, “in general I don’t have a problem with the overall concept” but the development was too dense. “It seems excessive,” he said.

    Other concerns addressed by the commission included the limited amount of proposed guest parking, which is currently a total of seven spaces. Two resident parking spaces are proposed for each unit.

    Member Bertrand Chenard said there is a dearth of houses roughly 1,000 square feet in size. He said he knew people “who have gone to other towns because they couldn’t find this kind of housing in Waterford.”

    The development is proposed on an 11.3-acre plot of land — it contains 2.3 acres of wetlands, including a stream and small pond — that sits south of Defender Industries Inc. at 42 Great Neck Road and north of Great Neck Village, also built by Adam’s Builders.

    Current plans show a long, private road with two units on the north side of the road and three on the south side beginning approximately 40 feet from the frontage of the property. The road continues approximately 400 feet, culminating in an oval shape where the remaining 35 units will be situated.

    The plan proposes three different 1,250-square-foot Cape Cod style homes, each offering three to four variations that purchasers can choose from to customize.

    Additionally, preliminary plans for the property currently include a 1/3-mile long walking trail with benches, waste cans and lighting, and an open-air, 18-by-36-foot pavilion.

    A single-family home, which Adam's Builders intends to demolish, currently occupies the property.

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