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Hawleyville Center Design District Zoning Rule Change Proposed



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The Planning & Zoning Commission (P&Z) is scheduled to consider a proposed zoning regulation change that would affect the method used in calculating the maximum amount of residential space allowed in mixed-use developments in the Hawleyville Center Design District (HCDD) zone.

A public hearing at which the proposed technical changes would be aired is scheduled for the P&Z meeting that will start at 7:30 pm on Thursday, September 5, at Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street.

P&Z members discussed the proposed HCDD zoning rule changes at their August 15 meeting.

George Benson, town planning director, has said the proposed rule changes would bring the HCDD zoning regulations into conformance with the Sandy Hook Design District (SHDD) zoning rules on the residential space topic. The SHDD zone, which the P&Z created in 1995, was the first of several such design districts locally. The P&Z created the HCDD zone in 1999.

The purpose of the Hawleyville Center Design District is to encourage and promote the creation of a neighborhood business district that will include mixed-use activities, improvements, and development typical of a village center. The intent is to promote business activities within the district that will serve the surrounding neighborhoods and, to a lesser degree, accommodate services that are compatible with the district’s proximity to the Exit 9 interchange of Interstate 84.

The proposed zoning regulations would alter how the P&Z determines the amount of residential space that is permitted in a mixed-use development in the HCDD zone in cases where a special zoning permit is required for construction.

Currently, the number of dwellings allowed is keyed to the size of the site, with a maximum of one dwelling allowed per one-half acre. In the proposed rules, a dwelling would have a maximum size of 1,200 square feet, with the residential space allowed overall expressed in terms of a fraction of the gross floor area of a mixed-use building.

Generally, the proposed rules concern the maximum residential construction density in areas that have mixed commercial/residential development in HCDD zones.

Fairfield Hills Housing

In other business at the August 15 P&Z session, P&Z Chairman Don Mitchell said that the Board of Selectmen and P&Z are slated to have a joint meeting on September 23 to discuss the Fairfield Hills Master Plan Review Committee’s recommendation that a revised master plan allow for some residential development at the town-owned Fairfield Hills core campus.

Potentially permitting multifamily housing at Fairfield Hills would require the P&Z to modify the Fairfield Hills Adaptive Reuse (FHAR) zoning regulations, Mr Mitchell said.

Mr Mitchell told P&Z members that it is important for them to attend the session to stay informed about the housing topic.

Several past proposals to create multifamily housing at Fairfield Hills have drawn stiff opposition from the public, with those proposals later being removed from consideration.

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