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Another Chance To Ask Questions



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To the Editor:

Last week the Planning and Zoning Commission began the process of considering if they will amend the Fairfield Hills zoning to allow housing on the campus. [See related story on A-1 of this week’s issue of The Newtown Bee.]

Unfortunately, due to lack of promotion, few members of the public attended the meeting on January 7. As a result, the meeting will be carried over to the January 21 meeting. I encourage all Newtown residents to consider attending the virtual meeting and providing your input.

This stage of the process is critical as the zoning regulations provide some details around what might be allowed. Some question to be answered should be:

1. How much commercial/retail space will be required to allow residential apartments in up to two buildings?

2. Will P&Z allow standalone apartment buildings with no commercial/retail space in it?

3. Will parking on the campus be shared or only for the residents of the apartment building?

4. Will parking be on the ground, and if so, how much space would be taken for parking?

5. How many parking garages might be allowed, what size, and how many stories? What architectural style will they be?

6. Will the outside of the buildings be restored and then maintained to mostly original condition?

7. Will lighting from the apartments be shielded in some way from the rest of the Campus?

8. What minimum percentage of the units will be affordable housing?

9. What is the process the P&Z will follow in considering this change and if so, enacting an amendment?

10. Can P&Z turn down a special exception proposal for apartments for any reason. even if it meets the provisions of a potential amendment?

11. What is the process to be followed when a developer wants to propose a project?

12. Will a proposed development have to adhere to the Master Plan and the Vision Statement for Fairfield Hills?

Now is the time to ask the important questions and make sure the amendment, if any, contains sufficient detail to make sure any proposed development meets the expectations of Newtown and its residents. We may not get a second chance to be heard, so please sign on and tune in to the P&Z hearing on January 21.

Bruce Walczak

12 Glover Avenue, Newtown January 15, 2021

Comments are open. Be civil.
  1. matt says:

    As I understand it, they would be allowed to have a single building that is completely residential, as long as they also do commercial somewhere else. Or they could put 160 apartments in a building and a single little office and that office would be “commercial” and qualify. Definitely attend. We are only at this point due to a misleading question on the November ballot.

  2. bw.reloconsult@snet.net says:

    I think we are at this point because the objective was to confuse the voters to what was coming down the Pike. Who knew a 100% apartment building, who know no designation of how much commercxial, who realized they could also build two new Garages up to three stories high. The P&Z voted to omit any details in the regulations so now its up to the BOS. There really is no process for Publlic input because its ignored completely.

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