Neighbors express concerns over Southington housing plan

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SOUTHINGTON — A plan for age-restricted cluster housing near the HillCrest development faced criticism from area residents.

AA Denorfia Building and Development is looking to build 24 houses at 570 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike. It’s a nine-acre property that currently has a single home on it.

While the company could build about 10 homes under the existing zoning, company owner Tony Denorfia wants to change the zoning to an age-restricted cluster housing zone. It allows him to build more homes than normally allowed in exchange for preserving land, restricting sales to residents 55 and older and keeping some home prices affordable.

Denorfia needs Planning and Zoning Commission approval for the zone change before he can submit a site plan application. The cluster housing zone has been used elsewhere in town, particularly by local developer Mark Lovley.

He said the project meets a need in town for low-maintenance housing for aging residents.

“When you build for this age group, you want to make sure that it’s high quality and minimum maintenance living,” Denorfia said.

Affordable three-bedroom houses will sell for around $290,000 while market-rate homes will go for more than $400,000.

Concerns from neighbors

The property borders the HillCrest housing development. Several neighbors who spoke during Tuesday night’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting cited their bad experiences with the HillCrest development.

Mary Ellen Hobson, a Blatchley Avenue resident, said she had significant flooding in her yard and home following the HillCrest development. She wasn’t opposed to the zone change for Denorfia’s project but was concerned about similar problems.

“I support this with a little bit of reservation because of my history,” Hobson said.

Other residents had similar concerns and questioned why the town should change zoning rules to accommodate denser housing.

“It’s R-40 (zoning) for a reason. Let them develop it, but let them develop it at R-40,” said Joe Stublarec, another Blatchley Avenue resident. He and others preferred the town not allow the cluster zoning.

The commission didn’t vote on the request at Tuesday’s meeting and left the public hearing open to allow more people to speak at future meetings.

jbuchanan@record-journal.com203-317-2230Twitter: @JBuchananRJ


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