CHESHIRE — The public hearing over a proposed cluster subdivision of 20 homes is slated to continue next month.
At its July 25 meeting, the Planning and Zoning Commission heard more public comment on the subdivision being proposed for 648 Wallingford Road and 14 Talmadge Road. The property is owned by Earl and Lauren Kurtz, and would be developed by Mark Lovley of Lovley Development Inc. in Southington. Neighbors also attended the PZC’s July 11 meeting, where the plan was reviewed.
The proposal has prompted some residents to argue the new homes — which would range from 2,700 to 3,400 square feet, and cost between $700,000 and $925,000 — would not fit the surrounding area and would strain the town’s wastewater system, among other issues.
William Kane, of the real estate appraisal company Wellspeak Dugas & Kane, said the pricing is “well established” in Cheshire, given real estate sales in 2021.
“We don’t see any reason why there would be any adverse impact on any of the property values surrounding the property,” Kane said.
Some residents, such as Matthew Wage, 669 Wallingford Road, argued that Kane’s study didn’t take into account that houses were selling over market value due to the pandemic, and the fact that houses will be closer together than in other subdivisions.
“You’ve got to consider that these houses are close together and they’re literally on the backyard of the neighbor,” Wage said.
Attorney Anthony Fazzone, who is representing Lovley, told the commission the developer was withdrawing the waiver request to have sidewalks on only one side of the proposed cul-de-sac off of Wallingford Road and instead will put in sidewalks on both sides of the new road if the application is approved.
A waiver was also being requested for regrading work, which Fazzone said is needed in order to connect the cul-de-sac to Wallingford Road.
“There’s not going to be a lot of material hauled out, there’s not going to be a lot of material brought in, so we need that waiver just to allow the equipment to go in there and do the grading,” said Fazzone
Commissioners asked if Lovley submitted a conventional subdivision application, how many homes could fit on the cul-de-sac. According to Andrew Quirk, professional engineer with Kratzert, Jones & Associates Inc., a total of 16 lots — three on Talmadge Road and 13 off of Wallingford Road — would fit per town zoning regulations.
Gary Mower, 362 Sir Walter Drive, said his son was looking to live in Cheshire, but is unable to afford the cost of the homes on the market, suggesting that homes with a lower price tag be built.
“It’s gotten so expensive … for younger people who are newly married or want to start a family,” Mower said. “They just can’t afford it and here we are building basically McMansions again.”
Commissioner Matt Bowman said “maybe (the homes) should be moderate income housing.”
“You know, maybe this is the perfect place for that,” Bowman said. “Maybe 40 or 50 houses in here would be perfect.”\
David Schrumm, 369 Sir Walter Drive, reiterated that the new development would burden the existing stormwater system.
He also suggested the developer put sidewalks in front of the four homes on Talmadge Road, which would provide a contiguous walkway from Copper Beech Drive.
Fazzone said that if the commission required the applicant to put in a sidewalk, “then it will have to be built.”
The idea of a new sidewalk appealed to resident Mark Hall, 140 Talmadge Road. He said a new stretch of sidewalk would provide for safer walking, and would benefit the town.
“If it eases our ability to enjoy the community, being able to walk down to Tamarack … with our dog without worrying about getting hit by a car, that’s improving this town,” Hall said.