The Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing on a resubmitted application seeking a change of zone from Residential 30 (R30) to Planned Development Multifamily (PDM) for properties located at 91 and 85R Salmon Brook Street. The proposal was unchanged from a previous application. Brian Smith, Attorney with Robinson and Cole, represented Upstream Properties, LLC. Smith used a PowerPoint presentation to review maps and the Plan of Conservation and Development objectives and goals related to rental units, walkable neighborhoods, housing opportunities for the elderly, natural gas, connection to the YMCA and restaurants and providing housing diversity. He noted this property is uniquely suited to the Plan of Conservation and Development’s goals and objectives.
Mark Arigoni, Landscape Architect at Milone and MacBroom, discussed the proposed site layout, wetland areas and the natural diversity database. He discussed the specific zone change area and also the scope of the entire project that includes five apartment buildings. An environmental Phase 1 on the property, a complete boundary survey and a new topographic survey have been completed. Access to the site would be opposite Floydville Road, just south of the Peppermill Deli, which will remain with parking shifting to the north of the building. Large trees off of Salmon Brook Street will be preserved. Maps of the overall proposal and the specific area of the proposed zone change were displayed. The five apartment buildings will each have 26 units. The proposed homes are expected to contain 1,700 to 2,200 square feet with two-car garages. The locations of the clubhouse, pool and roadway, buffer areas, the proposed traffic light were discussed, as were emergency access, deed restrictions, maintenance and more.
Richard Mancuso, Upstream Properties LLC, discussed the design and style of the homes and apartments. The homes are not age-restricted but are designed with the master bedroom on the first floor. The apartments are anticipated to be three stories with elevators. Fifty percent of the units will be one-bedroom. He reviewed the projected number of school children in the overall complex compared to similar complexes in neighboring towns. He discussed the project density compared to other Granby housing developments and noted the projected tax increase for the town.
Attorney Smith concluded with a distinction between the R30 and PDM zone, noting that the R30 zone allows many uses other than residential. He pointed out reasons that the Development Commission noted in its recommendation of approval. He believes that the project will help to improve and beautify the area as well as have a positive influence on the tax base.
Commission members asked Armentano about the permitted uses in the PDM zone. He explained that the permitted use in both zones is single-family residential and that there are a variety of uses allowed by special permit, which differ for each zone. He noted that the special permit uses in the PDM zone are limited to residential uses. Questions were also asked about the apartment building design and buffering of the development from the existing neighborhood.
During the public comment session, many residents spoke in opposition to the development. They expressed concerns for wildlife and endangered species, large apartments, density, wetlands, the town’s rural nature, crime, the number of school children, the cost of town services, the Plan of Conservation and Development and the overall nature of the town. Residents spoke of a need for an independent study and asked that the town consider purchasing the land. Residents felt that since the commission voted against the application previously, it shouldn’t reconsider that action.
Members of the public also spoke in favor of the zone change, stating reasons such as consistency with the 10-year plan, housing diversification, quality of the design, impact on the tax base and surrounding businesses.
The commission approved the zoning change at its Feb. 14 meeting.