Developer submits zone change request for age-restricted district

One of the more controversial zoning applications in recent years, the proposed development of an age-restricted housing district on Ridgefield Road, came to front row center again April 24 when the developer, 183 Ridgefield Road LLC, applied to the Planning and Zoning Commission for a zone change.

The developer applied for a change from zone R-2A, a residential zone, to an Age-Restricted District, what is known as an overlay. The commission last fall laid the groundwork for these overlay districts with amendments to zoning regulations.

The commission accepted the application and set the public hearing for June 12.

At the same time, residents opposed to the project will have a public hearing May 8 for a proposal to exclude Ridgefield Road from the overlay districts.

In March, the developer had requested permission to extend the town sewer line to the property to serve a possible 35-unit age-restricted housing development for the 13.45-acre site. However, the developer withdrew the application for that extension before the Water Pollution Control Authority could vote on it.

The developer could not be reached to comment on what is going to happen with that sewer request, or on what other means any development would be served, but his spokesman, Fran Di Meglio, said that question remains to be answered because the development plans are not far enough along.

Technically, the town’s sewer system is not overburdened. The system has a lot of 24-inch pipe and during peak flow it is not even a quarter of a pipe full, said Thomas Thurkettle, the town’s public works director.

The sewer system was built in 1974 at the insistence of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, and with help from federal funds. It runs about five miles north up Route 7, from the Norwalk border to Wilton High School.

The system supports the schools and hundreds of businesses along Route 7 and in the town center, Thurkettle said.

The sewage is treated by the Norwalk Wastewater Treatment Plant. Officials there did not respond to phone call requests for information about capacity and future expansion.