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P&Z Endorses Proposed Assisted-Living Zoning Rules For Borough



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After reviewing a set of proposed borough zoning regulations on assisted-living housing complexes, Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) members on February 16 endorsed creating such land use rules as a regulatory mechanism to allow applications for assisted-living facilities in the borough.

P&Z members made that recommendation to the Borough Zoning Commission (BZC) in their role as the borough's planning agency.

Rob Sibley, town deputy director of planning, told P&Z members that the rules proposed for assisted living complexes in the borough are similar to the P&Z's existing regulations on the subject.

Although the BZC does not have zoning regulations on assisted living, the P&Z has had such rules for many years. Such assisted-living facilities include Masonicare's Lockwood Lodge at 139 Toddy Hill Road, and Maplewood at Newtown at 166 Mt Pleasant Road.

P&Z Chairman Robert Mulholland said there is no problem with the BZC creating new regulations on assisted living similar to those that the P&Z has administered.

After polling the six P&Z members who attended the February 16 session and receiving positive responses, Mr Mulholland said he would inform the BZC of the P&Z's endorsement of the proposed zoning regulations. That endorsement contains a recommended modification to proposed regulatory language concerning special permits.

The BZC has scheduled a public hearing for March 8 on the zoning regulations proposed by a developer who wants to construct an approximately 70-unit assisted living complex at a 3.97-acre site at 37 Church Hill Road, on the eastern corner of Church Hill Road and The Boulevard. The site is in a P-1 (Professional) zone. The undeveloped property is owned by Pepper Partners, LLC.

The page of proposed zoning regulations contains topics including: a definition of assisted-living housing; allowing assisted living as a permitted use; requirements for buildings and plots; parking areas; and driveways.

On March 8 at the BZC's public hearing, the developer would present some general plans describing the housing complex. The working name of the project is Church Hill Village. Developer William Donohue of Old Greenwich proposes Church Hill Village.

The proposed regulations specify that an assisted living complex have access to a public water supply, sanitary sewers, and an arterial street. As defined by the proposed regulations, "assisted living" refers to an elderly housing complex in which a variety of basic services are provided, such as nursing and assistance with the activities of daily living, to a stable resident population.

Based on its 37 Church Hill Road location, an assisted-living complex would require three BZC approvals: a special permit, a site development plan endorsement, and a Village District certificate. New buildings in the borough's Village District overlay zone are limited to a maximum 6,500 square feet of enclosed space.

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