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WSA Again Endorses Sewer Service For Riverwalk Project



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Following discussion at an October 1 session, Water & Sewer Authority (WSA) members agreed to extend the time period of their previous approval of municipal sanitary sewer service for 74 proposed dwellings, known as The Riverwalk at Sandy Hook Village, on the west side of Washington Avenue in Sandy Hook Center.

WSA members extended that approval by 60 days to provide developer Michel Burton, Sr, with time to finalize his sale of the 11.8-acre Riverwalk site at 10-22 Washington Avenue and its development rights to an undisclosed buyer, according to Public Works Director Fred Hurley.

Mr Burton gained his fifth approval from the Planning & Zoning Commission (P&Z) for the longstanding multifamily proposal at a September 19 P&Z meeting. Although four previous versions of the project have gained various town land use approvals, none of those projects have ever been constructed.

Mr Burton submitted the first version of the project in 2008.

The latest version of the Riverwalk project is slated for review by the Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, October 9, at Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street.

What is notable about the fifth version of Riverwalk is that all 74 dwellings would be rental apartments. In the fourth version, some units were condominiums and some were rental apartments.

Also on October 1, the WSA modified the sewer assessment for the project because all units would be rental apartments. At $5,400 per rental apartment, the overall sewer assessment for the project is $399,600.

The project approved by the P&Z on September 19 is covered by the Incentive Housing-10 (IH-10) zoning regulations, a set of land use rules that allows 74 dwellings to be constructed. The IH-10 rules require 20 percent of the dwellings, or 15 apartments, to be designated as deed-restricted “affordable housing” units.

The affordable units are rented out to people qualified to occupy them based on regional income eligibility requirements. The rental fees paid by the people living in the 59 market-rate units would subsidize the 15 affordable units.

A “streetscape grade” sidewalk positioned on the west side of Washington Avenue would be extended southward to the southern end of the development site.

Such sidewalks are located in the Sandy Hook Center business district.

There would be five residential buildings at the site, garages, and carports, plus a clubhouse/rental office. Overall, there would be 167 parking spaces, of which ten spaces would be handicapped accessible. The site would contain 50 two-bedroom apartments and 24 one-bedroom units.

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