Fairfield assisted living facility voted down
Updated 11:14 am, Thursday, March 2, 2017
FAIRFIELD — A proposed memory care assisted living facility on Stillson Road widely panned by neighbors was unanimously denied Tuesday.
Town Plan and Zoning Commissioners said not only was the proposed two-story, 60,000 square foot building wildly out of harmony with the neighborhood, they said it would exacerbate an already heavily congested intersection.
ND Acquisitions proposed tearing down four single-family homes on 4 acres in a residence A zone on the west side of Stillson Road, north of Stillson Place. The facility would have had 72 beds, and 58 off street parking spaces. One access driveway off of Stillson Road was proposed, as well a secondary, gate-controlled access point for emergency vehicles. The access driveway was moved closer to Black Rock Turnpike.
“I don’t believe this application meets our harmony test,” Gerry Alessi, vice chairman, said. “I think there is really a lot of issues with putting this building at this location.”
Alessi, who made the motion to deny the special exception application, said removing four homes makes no sense. He said an application has to work not only for the developer but for the residents, neighbors and area businesses. In this instance, “I don’t think that is the case at all.”
Stillson Road is used by many as a route from one side of town to another, crossing Black Rock Turnpike.
“Those who know the queue that takes place up Stillson Road at certain times of the day ... to add more traffic from a commercial property, that street and intersection can’t handle this project,” Alessi said.
“Replacing houses for this, it really has to pass the test that we have in section 27.4, dealing with harmony, and dealing with traffic,” Commissioner Seth Baratz said. “I don’t think this application does meet this test.”
Commissioner Meg Francis called the application “the most flagrant interpretation of Fairfield zoning laws that I’ve seen in my three-plus years on the commission. The proposed facility is not in harmony here. This is not a neighborhood in transition.”
While the use is needed and would be beneficial to the town, Francis said the Black Rock Turnpike - Stillson Road intersection is “certainly one of the most dangerous in town and cannot support this.”
The commission previously turned down an assisted living facility on Stratfield Road and approved one for Mill Hill Road, and another on Mill Plain Road behind the Carolton Convalescent Home. The Stratfield Road denial has been appealed, and Carolton facility is under construction.