SOUTHINGTON — Opposition to a proposed 30-unit apartment building with affordable units continued Tuesday night at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
Hunter Build LLC is looking to build apartments on just under two acres in the middle of a residential block bordered by Liberty Street, Eden Avenue, Columbus Avenue and Bristol Street.
The plan includes nine apartments meeting the state's affordable designation, leaving the town with fewer options for denying the proposal.
The commission didn’t vote Tuesday night but will likely make a decision at its next meeting.
Opponents had a host of objections, ranging from safety to traffic to housing density.
Assistant Fire Chief James Paul told commission members he’d be able to get a fire truck into the property’s main entrance. The commission had requested a review of the fire department’s access to the property.
Opponents felt firefighters wouldn’t necessarily be able to get in if there were parked cars on the street.
“He did it under ideal conditions,” said Mario Izzo, a local property owner and landlord. “What happens when there’s cars on both sides (of the road)?”
Paul said trees near the entrance might make getting in more difficult.
Chris Smith, an attorney representing the developer, responded that trees would be cut back to allow better access.
Under town regulations, the development isn’t required to have a second entrance, according to Town Planner Rob Philips.
Stephen Giudice, an engineer representing the developer, said the existing driveway would be widened and the grade reduced.
“(The driveway) was made to be a private access,” Giudice said. “That area will be improved and expanded.”
Mary Parsons, an Eden Avenue resident, objected to putting so many families in such close proximity to the houses already on the block.
“You want to put 30 (apartments) on less than two acres?” she said. “You want to put that on someone’s house where they used to have picnics. This is going to be no picnic.”
Nine of the 30 units would be rented at below-market rates to families making no more than 60 to 80 percent of the median area income. The Hartford metro median income for 2019 was $97,000 for families.