Plan to expand Millport Apartments to be scaled back
Published 6:53 am, Wednesday, December 24, 2014
The New Canaan Housing Authority has agreed to reduce the size of the Millport Apartments expansion project following concerns over the proposed parking ratio and high density of the development.
During a short progress report at last week's Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, a representative for the applicant announced the authority is revising the project to reduce the number of proposed apartment units, increase parking area and enhance screening of the property.
The representative -- Tim Hollister, a partner at Shipman & Goodwin law firm -- asked the commission to present the new plan at the next P&Z meeting. The commission agreed and the public hearing was continued to Tuesday, Jan. 27.
The housing authority's original plan was to replace Millport Apartments' 22 units with 88 new ones. Millport and Mill apartments, both on Millport Avenue, offer housing to low- and moderate-income families. Mill Apartments underwent a similar expansion in 2011, when it grew from 12 units to 40, for a cost of nearly $8 million.The new 4.5-acre complex would increase the inventory of housing units considered affordable in New Canaan by about 1 percent.
Hollister has said the project would help protect the town from the state's Affordable Housing Appeals Act, also known as 8-30g, which requires municipalities have 10 percent of their housing stock defined as "affordable" under state criteria.
New Canaan, as well as several other Fairfield County towns, is far from meeting the 10 percent threshold, but with the proposed project, the town would qualify for a four-year moratorium for the law. Even after the project is revised, Hollister said the town would still be on the path to qualifying for a moratorium.
"Under any configuration that we're talking about with this project, you'll be well over the qualification for the first moratorium and easily two-thirds to three-quarters of the way to a second moratorium," he told the commission.
The current plan is to demolish the six Millport buildings and construct four new ones with four times as many apartments.
Neighbors at the Nov. 18 public hearing were concerned that not every unit would have a designated parking space, which could result in more on-street parking in the neighborhood.
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