Commission delves into amendment for elderly living facilities

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NAUGATUCK — Developers may soon have a clearer path to build independent and assisted residential facilities for the elderly in the borough.

The Zoning Commission opened a hearing last week on an amendment to the zoning regulations to add a section to cover elderly assisted living, residential facilities and senior living restricted development.

Under the proposed amendment, such developments would be for people 62 years or older or people younger than 62 with a substantial physical or mental impairment.

The facilities would have to be in a B-2 zone or have frontage on North Main Street or South Main Street. The facilities would also have to be connected to public water and sewers. The B-2 zone is a business district that presently allows general commercial and office development. B-2 zones are primarily located along Route 68 as well as North and South main streets.

“We chose this location in the B-2 zone because it has public utilities,” Town Planner Lori Rotella said. “It’s also in a location that’s easy access on and off highways to the medical facilities.”

The area along North Main Street is also in an opportunity zone, which offers tax incentives for developers to invest in low-income communities.

“Your POCD (Plan of Conservation and Development) does call for the use of properties along the corridors that already have infrastructure, meaning water, sewer, highway access and egress and also to promote the reutilization of properties with the goal of specifically addressing community needs,” Borough Attorney Ned Fitzpatrick said.

The proposed amendment requires that elderly residential facilities have to be on at least a one-acre lot and can’t be taller than 70 feet. The proposed facility could be five stories high.

Commission member Eileen Bronko raised concerns about whether the buildings would be too tall and if they would blend into the the character of surrounding neighborhoods.

The goal is to increase density when it comes to commercial growth, Fitzpatrick said. He added if developers are limited by the size of a parcel they have to build vertically.

Bronko also questioned if there would be ample on-site parking for such facilities and expressed concerns about whether an elderly person parking on the street would be ideal.

The commission continued the hearing to its May meeting.