By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer
NAUGATUCK — A 1.26-acre lot on North Main Street will become the site of the first senior assisted living facility in the borough.
The Zoning Commission Oct. 21 approved, 4-1, a special permit for a senior assisted living and memory care facility at 491-501 North Main St. and 24 Wood St.
Senior Living Development, LLC, a Fairfield-based commercial real estate company, plans to build a 60,700-square-foot, five-story facility at the site on North Main Street between Wood Street and Myrtle Avenue. There is a single-family home on the land as well as a couple other homes that house rental units and a commercial office.
The facility will be for people 62 years old or older who need daily assistance. There will be 116 bedrooms, 50 parking spaces, a loading bay and refuse area, according to the plans.
The commission also unanimously approved a permit to excavate 5,500 cubic yards of earth material from the site.
“I think it’s going to be a definite asset to this town,” said commission Chairman Wayne Malicki following the meeting.
Commission member Eileen Bronko, who voted against the special permit, expressed concerns that the plans didn’t have enough parking for the facility and that noise from Route 8 would be an issue for residents. She also felt a five-story building doesn’t fit with the character of the neighborhood.
“I do think it’s a good project,” Bronko said. “I do think that it would add to the senior living in town, but I just don’t think that that’s the area to have this.”
Malicki said the amount of parking spaces and height of the building are in compliance with zoning regulations. He said with a limited amount of space to develop in the borough, the only place to go is up.
The commission changed the regulations earlier this year to allow for independent and assisted residential facilities for the elderly. Under the new regulations, such facilities are allowed in B-2, New Haven Road Design District and Rubber Avenue Design District zones through a special permit. The site on North Main Street is a B-2 zone.
The facility will have 65 to 75 employees over three shifts, with the largest shift having about 35 workers, according to the plans. Seth Dudley, chief operations manager for Kind Care Assisted Living, said the plan is to have 15 caregivers for every resident.
The project has received approval from every board commission necessary, according to Malicki.
Mark De Pecol, CEO of Senior Living Development, said the company plans to close the deal to buy the land by the end of the year. He expects construction to start in the spring and take 12 to 14 months to complete.
“I want to thank everyone in the town, and this will be great for the town, for the elderly,” De Pecol said.