Zoners delay decision on workforce housing reg
The decision whether to create a workforce housing zone in town has been put off by the New Milford Zoning Commission until its Sept. 22 meeting.
Zoners said there are too many unresolved questions in the proposal brought forward by developer Vic Nelson.
While a draft of the proposed zone has been developed, members of the commission are concerned too many loopholes remain that could create future "down zoning" in the town.
"The big problem is it allows applicants to ask for a zone change that would create a one-acre zone anywhere in town," said commission member Janice Vance. "We don't necessarily have the infrastructure (of sewers) in place throughout the town to support that. This is down zoning."
"It could result in re-subdividing a four-acre zoned parcel," said fellow commission member Bill Taylor. "People buy in a four-acre zone for a reason. That should be protected."
"The criteria by which we can deny the zone change request is not clear" as the zone proposal is written now, he said.
Mr. Taylor said he applauds the concept of a workforce housing zone. It would provide affordable, new housing for the people who have served the town, he said.
Yet the zoner wants the criteria for denials clearly stated.
"If this read that the zone change could occur in the sewer district, I'd have no problem with it," Mr. Taylor said.
The regulation would allow town workers and emergency volunteers priority on new, moderately priced homes.
The proposed regulation is oriented toward building new homes in the $275,000 to $300,000 price range.
Mr. Nelson predicted the zone would work only in limited areas with good soil composition for septic systems. He said he thinks no more than 120 houses a year would be built.