The chairman of the Greenwich Housing Authority blows up proposals for affordable housing: “The 8-30g are misused by developers.
At the marathon P&Z meeting on Tuesday, which ran from 5:00 p.m. to about 11:00 p.m., attorney Tom Heagney said his client Greenwich Woods was considering moving from a nursing home to an 8-30g affordable, 162-apartment development on King Street 1165 to switch
His client explores “development potential”.
Greenwich Woods previously considered converting the nursing home into an assisted living facility, but did not pursue this preliminary application.
Greenwich Woods has 217 beds on 15,893 acres. The nursing home was approved in 1986, expanded in 1990 and since then additional beds have been added. The building is 30 meters from King Street and cannot be seen from the street.
The property is serviced by Aquarion, but an important consideration is that the facility is connected to Westchester’s sewer system by an agreement that will expire in 9 years.
“We have no reason to believe that Westchester would not want to continue this agreement,” said Heagney. He added, however, that behind the development there was the potential for a septic system should the agreement with Westchester expire.
The nursing home currently has 2 floors. The proposal would add 3 more floors for a total of 5 floors on the existing floor space.
Heagney said the existing building has sprinklers, and so does the proposed building. That was a concern of the P&Z briefing the day before.
Commissioner Dennis Yeskey suggested that Mr Heagney contact Westchester and see what capacity he has.
“(This plan) is about the availability of wastewater for a long time,” Yeskey said.
“Financing a 300 bedroom sewer system is not a given,” said Commissioner Bob Barolak.
Ms. Alban said she did not see the location as ideal for a high density of 8-30g.
In particular, she said there would be environmental concerns and potential traffic-related issues.
“Is it roadworthy? Is it environmentally friendly? We had wetland contamination concerns at earlier 8-30g. â¦ It looks like you provided some outdoor space that is valuable, but is there a place for children to play? âShe asked.
“Access to transportation and jobs is not easy from this location,” added Alban.
During a public comment, Sam Romeo, chairman of the Greenwich Housing Commission, blew up the proposal.
“I really have problems with this application – hanging it up in what is called the backcountry,” he said, referring to the transportation challenge.
“What I’ve been seeing here lately from developers who either live in Greenwich or develop in Greenwich because of their proximity to New York – they abuse the intent of the law, 8-30g,” said Mr .. said Romeo.
âWe had the property on West Putnam Ave with high density and affordable units and 192 on Church Street last week. And now this one, âhe continued. “How does this help take a big bite out of the 10% apple?” he asked.
The state’s 8-30g Affordable Housing Act, which has been on the Connecticut books since the 1980s, requires every city in the state to be affordable 10% of its housing stock. Naturally occurring affordable housing such as that provided to private school teachers or country club staff does not count.
By the time Greenwich reaches 10%, it is subject to 8-30g.
Currently, around 1,200 additional units of affordable housing would be needed to achieve 10%.
Mr Romeo said the target posts will get further out of reach if high density development increases the overall Greenwich housing stock.
“At the pace we’re pushing, we’ll never reach the 10 percent target,” said Romeo.
He said the difference is that the housing authority is not for profit.
âWe’re not in business for financial gain. Our mission is to provide affordable housing in Greenwich and housing for workers. … We have bought up existing private properties – apartment buildings. We are renovating and rebuilding them so … the number (required to reach 10%) decreases. “
He also said: “We’re not putting any more pressure on the infrastructure.”
âIn the last few months we have bought a lot of properties, apartment buildings. I bought two more just last week. … If we use Section 8 vouchers for properties we have purchased, these will be reduced directly (10% requirement). “
“As far as I can see, the 8-30g is being misused by developers,” said Romeo.
âTraffic is a problem. Traffic is a problem. The infrastructure is a problem, âhe said.
âThis proposal is totally atypical for the city of Greenwich. I wouldn’t look friendly there. … My main thing is the transport and the water. “
“Another consideration is that one-bedroom units don’t really help working families,” Romeo continued. If you are installing 2 and 3 bedroom units it is different. What would really add to affordable housing is for everyone to catch up the housing fund.“
Attorney Heagney didn’t push back. “We’re really just looking at the options for this website, and we wanted to get your feedback on this one.”
âWe need apartments on all levels. We need something that isn’t super expensive. We would agree to a new regulation for age-restricted living. We would be happy to see small, entry-level houses for young families, âsaid Alban. “Come back and talk to us anytime.”
P&Z Watch: At Gregory’s Coffee, turn left onto Rte 1
Affordable housing estate with 192 units would destroy restaurants, historic homes
Pre-application submitted to Greenwich P&Z for 192-unit 8-30g development on Church Street in downtown