The Montville Planning and Zoning Commission approved the construction of Tuesday night.
The 120-unit development will reside on 12 acres of land off Route 32, with 30 percent of the units designated for affordable housing.
“This is not a low-income housing project by any stretch of the imagination,” said Marcia Vlaun, the Town Planner. “The median income is in excess of $80,000 to qualify for an 'affordable housing' unit.”
Montville has 7,407 housing units and 3.89 percent are categorized as being affordable under the state statute, according to Vlaun. She said the state has set a 10 percent goal, “so we’re well short of that.”
Vlaun said the 36 “affordable-housing units” are not HUD-assisted housing units and “they’re not subsidized housing as you might think of it.”
Montville resident Steve Day was unhappy with the commission’s decision although he knew it was inevitable. Day said the development had been pitched and promoted at previous meetings. He objected to the apartment complex and said condos would have been better for the town.
“I think we need more objectivity from a town planner’s perspective,” he said. “If they were condos and people had a vested interest in the community then that’s one thing.
Day said apartments might attract too many residents and drain public resources.
“It’s about the quality of life in Montville. Affordable housing could have been done with condos,” he said.
Commissioners Allen Polhemus and Anthony Siragusa opposed the project out of concern that the proposed sidewalk would be inadequate.
“The sidewalk will go up the hill and all of the sudden just stop,” said Polhemus. “It’s a death trap, I’m telling you.”
Anthony Siragusa agreed and said the proposed sidewalk “slopes down right into the road” and there’s really no other place for walkers to go.
Commissioner James Toner made the motion to approve the development, which was OK'd with the following standard conditions:
- The applicant/developer should schedule a pre-construction meeting two weeks before beginning the project.
- The developer must get the proper permits from the appropriate agencies with regard to storm water drainage.
- That all walls are designed and inspected by a geotechnical engineer and comply with the commission’s specifications.
- The sidewalk has to be extended to the end of the property.
- A registered landscape architect must sign the landscape plan.
In other business:
The Commission voted to stop the litigation against Kobyluck. The four-year lawsuit stems from Kobyluck’s multiple permit violations, according to Vlaun.
“We approved a site plan for him with conditions that he did not comply with,“ she said.
William Pieniadz, chair of the commission, said they will place a notice of violation on the land records instead of continuing litigation.