SOUTHINGTON – Town planners brought in additional legal counsel for the application of a local developer who wants approval for 30 affordable housing units on Laning Street.
Frank Fragola, a local business owner and developer, has attempted to get town approval for housing at 295 Laning St. for years.
Bryan Meccariello, Fragola’s attorney, laid out the plan during Tuesday night’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. The housing will be restricted to those 55 and older and will include nine affordable units as defined by state statue.
Due to the affordable portion of the development, the town’s planners have a limited ability to reject the plan.
Planners had Evan Seeman, a real estate attorney, present at Tuesday’s meeting to help them navigate state laws regarding affordable housing projects. In addition to Seeman, Town Attorney Jeremy Taylor also attended the meeting.
“(Seeman is) going to provide us with an overview of the do’s and don’ts and restrictions under the (state’s affordable housing statutes),” said Robert Hammersley, commission chairman.
Previous iterations of the Laning Street housing plan included extending the town’s sewer system to the 11-acre parcel. The plan proposed Tuesday was for the 15 duplexes to have private septic systems.
The Town Council in 2019 rejected Fragola’s request to extend town sewers to the property.
Meccariello said there’ll be an increasing need for senior housing in upcoming years. The development is adjacent to Hawk’s Landing Country Club and residents will be able to access the golf course via a cart path.
The duplexes will be a mix of one and two bedrooms.
Meccariello said there’s a stigma attached to affordable housing but specified that this is not Section 8 housing and not rentals.
“These units are going to be sold,” he said.
During Tuesday’s meeting, several town residents said they were opposed to the plan.
The commission didn’t take any action on Fragola’s request, saying it would need time to consider the plan.