Canaan Parish redevelopment approved, but with conditions
NEW CANAAN — There were some changes made to the Canaan Parish redevelopment plans but, like last July, some commissioners and residents were not entirely happy.
“I feel that this would make us question about how did the town let that get built here?” said Greg Pepe, a resident on Fitch Lane and Hoyt Farm.
After lengthy deliberation of the site plan, the Planning and Zoning Commission voted to approve it during a meeting Tuesday night, but with the condition that Town Planner Lynn Brooks could continue talking with the architectural team to see if changes could be made to the external appearance of the future buildings.
“What I can guarantee is that the new apartments will be better than what they are now,” said Scott Hobbs, chairman of the Housing Authority.
Bally Veldhuis and Virginia Appy, both residents of the Parish at 186 Lakeview Ave., offered their opinion on the revised plans, with the former criticizing them and the latter more appreciative of the changes made.
“I think the improvements are tremendous,” Appy said. “I only question why (the new plans) have not been on the town website.”
The renovation project of 186 Lakeview Ave. is slated to take three years to complete if deadlines are met, and is expected to include a building with 60 units and another with 40 units.
Following a lengthy back-and-forth meeting last month regarding the redevelopment of the affordable housing complex, the Housing Authority and architectural team made notable changes to the building, specifically the ceiling, roof and color of the exterior facades.
Commissioners noted the changes made to the redevelopment plans had taken into acc5
ount public and the board’s comments.
Myles Brown, lead architect of the project, said the team had looked at three factors for reconsideration: height, scale and color.
“There is a change in height of about 67 feet reduction and we tried to lighten the corners,” Brown said. “We were inspired by a building on Forest Street with a monochromatic color palette.”
Brown reiterated the mission of the redevelopment was to create maximum natural light.
“What troubles me is the mission statement comes from an internal perspective,” Commissioner Dan Radman said. “But there is the external component with town fabric, neighbors and aesthetic.”
Brown emphasized that making said changes would affect the footprint and floor plans of the units and would eventually prove too costly.
Some commissioners were not entirely satisfied with the exterior of the proposed plans but recognized that 8-30g moratoriums, which prevent outside developers from bypassing local government boards, were more important.
According to the Housing Authority, there is a Dec. 6 deadline they must meet with local and state authorities to continue moving forward with funding and construction of the new affordable housing units.