Wilton eyes Georgetown properties for housing developments

One of the two town-owned properties that was deemed a possible site for redevelopment by the Wilton Housing Committee.

One of the two town-owned properties that was deemed a possible site for redevelopment by the Wilton Housing Committee.

Google Maps / Contribute Photo

WILTON — After reviewing several locations over the past few months where further housing development could be made possible, the Housing Committee is looking to Wilton’s Georgetown section to fulfill that goal.

The committee called upon Town Planner Michael Wrinn Tuesday to trade ideas on redevelopment opportunities for two town-owned single-family properties on New Street that straddle the intersection of Danbury Road.

Housing Committee Chairman John C. Kelly said this “Georgetown cluster” seemed to be the “most promising candidate for potential housing development.”

Together, the properties span about 3.63 acres and are nestled into a residential zone of Wilton. The town planner explained that these two properties have been rented out by the town for a “long period of time.”

And the town is looking to rent them out once more, just not in their current state.

Now, with the Housing Committee eyeing these properties as possible redevelopment zones, Wrinn gave his preliminary thoughts on the project.

“A lot of money has to be put back into them to make them viable rental units,” Wrinn told the committee on Tuesday. He said that, looking forward, the town will need to make an earnest effort to “budget for improvements” before reiterating that they would need “substantial amounts of funding” to bring them to rentable condition.

Wrinn added the Georgetown site would not be used for large developments, such as the 173-unit proposal at 141 Danbury Road.

“This is not that idea,” Wrinn said. This is a “much smaller scale project.”

Kelly and Wrinn did not hone in on a definitive number of units, but Wrinn noted that servicing as high as 25 units could cause problems for utilities. The houses sit on a slope. Wrinn said there is roughly a 40-foot differential from one end of the property to the other.

The focus, though, is diversity in housing options, Wrinn said. Per the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development adopted in 2019, identifying more ways to increase those housing options is a goal, hence why the Housing Committee was tasked with reviewing the town property list.

As for how these properties are reworked, the committee and Wrinn said it’s possible a developer can work with them, as well as a nonprofit if it made sense. Kelly also asked about the feasability of incorporating affordable housing units.

“Everything is on the table,” Wrinn said. Right now, the goal is continuing to “look for ideas, massage those ideas and then get to the point of the town being happy and satisfied that they will meet our criteria.”

Both rental and for-sale units were discussed; however, due to how the properties are divvied, the town planner expects the buildings to resemble either attached or detached single-family homes.

Another step will be septic testing, according to Wrinn, who said he spoke with the town sanitarian.

Beyond utility testing and firming up designs, Kelly said he and the committee would ask about American Rescue Plan funding for “family-oriented housing” and whether this project may be eligible.