Senior housing asks for zoning changes
Brightview Senior Living has filed an application with the Planning and Zoning Commission for zoning regulation changes to permit a senior housing development on 6.9 acres on Danbury and Pimpewaug roads.
In a letter dated Sept. 3 from Kimley-Horn of New York, P.C., planning and design engineering consultants, the housing is described as a mix of independent, assisted-living, and memory care units in a three-story building.
The site is zoned R-2A. Wilton’s zoning regulations refer to independent living as “congregate housing.” This type of housing is permitted in all districts. Assisted-living is allowed in all districts except Wilton Center District. Both types of housing require special permit and site plan approval.
Because Brightview’s plan cannot satisfy current zoning regulations as pertaining to vehicular access, several changes have been proposed. The Planning and Zoning Commission will accept the application at its meeting on Sept. 9, at which time it may set a public hearing date.
The sticking point, according to the letter, is the planned preservation of the historic Gregory house, which Kimley-Horn says limits the design of the site. Preserving it prevents direct vehicular access to and from Danbury Road.
The developer had sought to purchase a strip of land along Pimpewaug Road owned by the town, to solve its access problem, but abandoned that effort after its attorneys were unhappy with the result of a title search.
The proposed zoning amendments focus on location, density, maximum building height, and the number of affordable housing units.
As for location, the developer, identified as MNG Equities LLC, seeks to alter the current language for congregate housing that requires a minimum of 50 feet of frontage and direct access to Danbury, Westport or River roads.
The developer seeks to include “on sites located within 100 feet of Danbury Road, as measured from its closest point, containing a building of historical and/or architectural value that will be preserved and having frontage on a road that provides vehicular access from the site directly to Danbury Road.
The developer is seeking a similar change for assisted living.
As for density, current zoning regulations limit congregate housing to 12 units per acre in all districts except a Designed Enterprise District where 18 units per acre are allowed. The developer would like to change that to 24 units per acre for sites within 100 feet of Danbury Road as outlined above.
Current zoning limits apartments to one and a-half bedrooms per unit and they cannot be more than 900 square feet. The developer did not seek to change this.
The developer seeks language allowing buildings to be 39 feet high or three stories, which is now allowed only in a Designed Enterprise District. It seeks to eliminate the current restriction of 35 feet or two and a-half stories in all other districts.
The developer would also like to decrease the number of affordable units required from 20 percent to 10 percent.