Affordable apartment building near Metro Center gets approval
Published 7:28 pm, Wednesday, October 18, 2017
FAIRFIELD — Unlike some previous affordable housing applications, a 24-unit apartment building on an empty lot on Kings Highway sailed through the approval process.
John and Timothy Philbin’s application for 1427-1443 Kings Highway was unanimously approved Tuesday and received no opposition during a prior public hearing.
The property sits in front of the Fairfield Metro train station and is bounded on one side by Ash Creek Boulevard, and on the other by Constant Comment Way.
“I like this project,” Commissioner Marc Corcoran said. “It’s in a good location ... I think it’s good it’s being done by a local developer.”
The Philbins’ own a local landscaping business, and attorney John Fallon, in presenting the apartment proposal to the commission, said it would be owned and managed by the Philbins.
“I felt it was a good application,” Commissioner Thomas Noonan said. “All in all, it’s a good application, particularly considering it’s an 8-30g application.”
Of the 24 one-bedroom units, eight will be set aside as affordable for a term of 40 years. Four will be reserved for a person making less than 60 percent of the statewide median, and four will be for those making less than 80 percent of the statewide media, according to Fallon.
At the suggestion of the town’s Affordable Housing Committee, which supported the application, Fallon said one apartment in the building will be ADA-compliant. The three-story, 20,127-square-foot building would sit over the parking area, which will provide 24 parking spaces.
The parking was a bit of a concern for zoning board members because there was no area for overflow or visitor parking. However, they agreed that the issue did not rise to the level of a threat to public safety. Under 8-30g, if a commission denies an application, it must provide evidence that the application would pose a threat to public health or safety.
“It’s tight, there’s no doubt,” said Chairman Matthew Wagner. “I don’t see an alternative we could impose.”
As for concerns about unauthorized parking at the building — perhaps from train station users — TPZ Director James Wendt that would be up to the building’s management to control. That, Wendt said, is not an issue for zoning enforcement.