Will Wilton follow state’s guidance on accessory dwellings and parking?

The town will have to either commit to opting into to the state’s guidance on parking spaces or continue with its own regulations.

The town will have to either commit to opting into to the state’s guidance on parking spaces or continue with its own regulations.

John Nickerson

WILTON — Following Connecticut’s recent accessory dwelling unit guidance, the town has to decide either to opt into the state’s guidelines or opt out and continue to adhere to its own, listed in its zoning regulations.

An “accessory dwelling unit” is a smaller, independent residential unit that is located on the lot of a single-family home but is separate from the main building.

The guidance set forth by the state sets a maximum “net floor area” for an accessory apartment to be not less than 30 percent of the principal dwelling or 1,000 square feet, whichever is the lesser amount. This became effective Oct. 1.

Wilton’s zoning regulations, revised most recently in 2019, state that the maximum size of the floor area of an accessory dwelling unit “may not exceed one-fourth of the gross floor area of the building, or 750 square feet, whichever is greater” and “no more than two bedrooms are permitted in the accessory dwelling unit.”

Both the state and town regulations point to the specification that one of the dwelling units must be owner-occupied at all times.

The Planning and Zoning Commission will have to come to a two-thirds vote in order to either opt in or out of the state guidance, Town Planner Michael Wrinn told commissioners on Monday.

A vote does not have to be imminent, as the decision has to be made before January 2023 to ensure the town does not automatically opt in to the state’s regulations. Per Wrinn, any decision derived from a Planning and Zoning vote must also be approved and adopted by the Board of Selectmen.

Wrinn said the town will undergo roughly the same procedure in the near future for parking regulations. The town planner explained that Wilton’s parking regulations differ from that of the state’s. The state requires less parking per unit in a multifamily building.

The town’s current regulations demand that there must be 1.5 parking spots for any studio apartment and there must be two parking spots for a one-bedroom unit or larger, with an additional visitor spot for every two units in the building.

According to Wrinn, the state is suggesting one space for a studio or one-bedroom, and two parking spots for a two-bedroom unit or larger.

Similar to the accessory dwelling units, the P&Z must come to a two-thirds vote on this and have their decision approved by the Board of Selectmen.

Wrinn added the parking issue may be a “little more critical.” The commission will look to discuss these topics and come to a vote likely in 2022.