SOUTHINGTON — A local developer is proposing a 15-home senior housing subdivision off South End Road.
The Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing on the application recently and is still deliberating on it.
Mark Lovley, a local developer, got approval from the commission in March for a zone change that allows the development of denser, smaller single-family housing for seniors looking to downsize from larger homes with large yards.
The zone change allows for five houses per acre. Sev Bovino, a planner representing Lovley, said the developer was sticking with the 15 homes originally mentioned to the commission even though the zone could support even denser housing.
“We’re not getting more units than we proposed to start with,” Bovino said during the Tuesday PZC meeting.
Tom Curtiss, a South End Road resident, said he’s not opposed to the concept of smaller housing for seniors but thought there were too many houses for the property.
“The density in this type of (development), especially on this one, is way too dense,” Curtiss said. “Just because you’re seniors doesn’t mean you want to be crowded in.”
Pamela Lapenta, a Plantsville Road resident who is on the list to buy one of the proposed homes, supported the plan.
“There is a scarcity of freestanding condos on one floor,” she said. “For anyone who gets older and who has trouble with their knees, there’s a need for it.”
Bradley Lawrence, a Crestview Drive resident, said while there are lots of condominiums available in the area, most are not free-standing or on one level.
“There’s plenty of condos and they have plenty of stairs,” he said. “I’m in favor and I hope this goes forward.”
The houses will range from 1,440 to 1,600 square feet and three will be designated affordable.
A portion of the five-acres will be donated to the town as open space. It includes the remains of an underground railroad stop on the former Curtiss Farm.
Slaves escaping to Canada stayed on the farm off South End Road. The stone foundation of a shed that used to house them is still on the property. Lovley said he'll talk to the Southington Historical Society about putting up a plaque explaining the significance of the location and would be open to adding a wood chip path to connect other public land to the area.
The commission is expected to take up the plan at its next scheduled meeting on July 16.
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