Date: Fri 01-Oct-1999
Date: Fri 01-Oct-1999
Two Hearings Slated On Avalon Apartment Complex
BY ANDREW GOROSKO
Two public hearings are scheduled for Avalon at Newtown, a 304-unit rental
apartment complex envisioned for Hawleyville, which is the largest private
residential complex ever proposed locally.
The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) is scheduled to conduct its public
hearing at 7:30 pm, Thursday, October 7, at Room A-107 at Newtown High School,
12 Berkshire Road.
A Conservation Commission public hearing is slated for 7:30 pm, Wednesday,
October 13, at the town land use office at Canaan House at Fairfield Hills.
The Avalon Bay proposal, which was submitted to the P&Z and Conservation
Commission in April, had been scheduled for public hearings in the past, but
those sessions fell through for various reasons. Most recently, hearings which
had been scheduled for early September were postponed when Avalon Bay
Communities, Inc, had to deal with septic waste disposal issues posed to it by
the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA). Avalon is seeking to discharge
sewage from the 178 Mt Pleasant Road site into a sewer line planned for
Among other matters, the WPCA had asked Avalon to estimate the 40.7-acre
site's capacity for on-site septic waste disposal. Avalon, however, has asked
that the WPCA rule on its request for a connection to the planned sewer system
without it providing the WPCA with an estimate of the property's on-site
septic disposal capacity.
WPCA members plan to inform the development firm that it must provide that
information because the site lies largely outside the designated Hawleyville
Following a meeting with Avalon in August, WPCA members asked the first
selectman and the Economic Development Commission (EDC), among others, whether
Avalon's construction proposal can be considered a form of "economic
development." The Hawleyville sewer district has been created to foster local
First Selectman Herbert Rosenthal has replied, "I have not been provided with
any authenticated data which would support Avalon Bay's contention that their
proposed residential housing application will generate more tax revenue than
it will demand in expenditures for municipal services. Since it is not a
commercial, retail, office or industrial proposal, which would be ordinarily
associated with economic development, nor is it an age-restricted residential
proposal, which could also be viewed as a form of economic development due to
little or no impact on schools, I do not consider their proposed apartment
complex to be economic development."
In a response to the WPCA on behalf of the EDC, EDC Chairman A. Winthrop
Ballard wrote that EDC members unanimously believe that Avalon is not a form
of economic development.
"Not only would sewerage have to be provided, but also police and fire
protection and ambulance service. If children are included, their education
and transportation would have to be provided. There is very little potential
contribution to Newtown's economy," according to the EDC.