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P&Z Considers New Format For 'Elderly Housing'



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A local builder/developer is proposing a new set of zoning regulations for “elderly housing,” which would allow detached single-family houses on relatively small lots in a subdivision, with each lot having its own water well and septic system.

Kim Danziger of Danziger Homes, Inc, presented his regulatory proposal for elderly housing to the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) at an August 20 public hearing.

Mr Danziger told P&Z members that having such zoning rules in place would serve to improve the local housing stock. Elderly housing, also known as age-restricted housing, refers to housing designated for people at least 55 years old.

The P&Z currently has zoning rules covering elderly housing, which are known as the EH-10 regulations. Those rules pertain to high-density complexes that are served by public water supplies and by municipal sanitary sewers.

Local elderly housing complexes with EH-10 zoning include Walnut Tree Village on Walnut Tree Hill Road, Regency at Newtown on Oakview Road, as well as Newtown Woods and Liberty at Newtown, which are both on Mt Pleasant Road. Collectively, those complexes hold roughly 525 dwellings.

Nunnawauk Meadows on Nunnawauk Road and Masonicare at Newtown on Toddy Hill Road also are considered elderly housing complexes. They have EH-10 designations.

At the public hearing, Mr Danziger told P&Z members that he represents Martin and Felicity Sidwell who own land on Hi Barlow Road, near Hattertown Green.

The current zoning regulations do not address single-family elderly housing, Mr Danziger said. Such development “would be more in keeping with the rural character of Newtown” than large housing complexes, he said.

The proposed zoning rules would result in single-family houses, which are condominiums, for elderly people who want to “downsize” their dwellings, Mr Danziger said, noting that currently only high-density housing for the elderly is allowed by the zoning regulations.

“It would be beneficial to the town in general,” Mr Danziger said of the proposed rules.

According to town land use records the Sidwells own property at #7, #9, and #11 Hi Barlow Road, which totals more than 34 acres. That area has R-2 (Residential) zoning, which requires a minimum two-acre lot size for single-family house development.

Mr Danziger presented P&Z members with a map indicating how the proposed regulations could be used to create single-family elderly housing at Hi Barlow Road.

The map depicts #7 and #9 Hi Barlow Road, which comprise about 26 acres. The map indicates 25 individual houses. The smallest lot size at such a site would be 35,000 square feet, or about four-fifths of an acre.

Mr Danziger also provided a map showing an alternate layout for such a 25-lot subdivision.

For the sake of comparison, he presented a map showing the same land as it would be divided in a conventional large-lot subdivision to produce 11 lots.

During the public comment section of the hearing, Bryan Atherton of Black Walnut Drive, who is a realtor, endorsed Mr Danziger’s zoning rule proposal.

“I support this concept and I urge the commission to consider it further,” Mr Atherton said.

Resident Robert Rau of Lake Road also endorsed the zoning proposal. Mr Rau is a member of the Economic Development Commission.

P&Z Chairman Robert Mulholland said P&Z members will continue the public hearing on the zoning proposal at their September 3 meeting.

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