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Sunday, October 26, 2014

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Second 'affordable' apartment project proposed for Fairchild neighborhood

Published 8:32 am, Thursday, March 6, 2014

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  • This house at 110 Berwick Avenue is the subject of a Town Planning and Zoning application for a 33-unit apartment building. Photo: Genevieve Reilly / Fairfield Citizen
    This house at 110 Berwick Avenue is the subject of a Town Planning and Zoning application for a 33-unit apartment building. Photo: Genevieve Reilly

 

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An apartment complex with "affordable" units is being proposed for two lots that sit back-to-back on Fairchild and Berwick avenues.

Berwick Fairchild & Associates, LLC, is seeking several zoning amendments to allow construction of the 33-unit building on land owned by the late Nello Ceccarelli. The combined lots cover 0.46 acre. On the Berwick Avenue lot is a two-family home, while Ceccarelli's Redman's Club sits on the Fairchild Avenue parcel.

The Vision Appraisal land-records service still lists Nello Ceccarelli Properties as the owner for both parcels. The principals of Berwick Fairchild & Associates, LLC, are Richard Albertelli of Easton and Kevin Bartlett of Weston.

According to the plan submitted to the Town Plan and Zoning Commission, 10 of the 33 units would be deed restricted for 40 years as "affordable" under state income guidelines. Each apartment would have two bedrooms.

The TPZ will hold a public hearing on the application when it meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in McKinley School.

According to Assistant Zoning Director James Wendt, the applicants are seeking changes in the town zoning regulations to permit increased density to accommodate a bigger building with more dwelling units; re-classification of the site from residence B zone to designed residence district; smaller setbacks, and more coverage of the lot.

The apartment building, if approved, would be built across the street from another apartment building with affordable units being constructed by Garden Homes Management of Stamford. That Fairchild Avenue development will house 54 units, with 27 set aside as affordable.

Both the Garden Homes development, and another affordable complex on Campfield Drive, were originally denied several years ago by the TPZ. But a judge's order in 2012 paved the way for both to go forward.

Under state statutes, when a developer seeks to build housing that complies with the affordable criteria, the burden of proof shifts to a community's zoning board if it wants to deny the proposal.

Garden Homes, meanwhile, is proposing to build another apartment building with affordable units on lower Bronson Road. That project, which was scheduled to be reviewed at this week's Conservation Commission meeting, has triggered neighborhood opposition.