TPZ ends public hearing on Fairfield's Beacon View development

Fairfield Town Hall

Fairfield Town Hall

File Photo / File Photo

FAIRFIELD — After several Town Plan and Zoning Commission public hearings on the housing development planned for Beacon View Drive, the process has come to a close. The next step is for the commission to vote on the application.

Filed by John and Dilan LLC, the 15-21 Beacon View Drive complex is designed to host a three-story building with 20 apartments on one acre of land. There would be 18 one-bedroom apartments and two studios. Three of the apartments in the building would be reserved as affordable housing.

The developers filed the application under 8-30g, a state law which allows developers to largely ignore municipal laws and regulations when building affordable housing.

In order to deny an application for such a development, a town body would need to prove in court that the denial was necessary in order to protect the public’s health and safety.

The plan has proved controversial, with neighbors dubbing it the “Beacon View Monstrosity.”

In the same meeting, the TPZ voted to approve an application for a different affordable housing development on High Street. While the commissioners said they did not support that application, they all acknowledged there was not enough evidence presented to prove in court that the denial was necessary.

The issues discussed during the hearing were largely the same as the ones for the High Street application: traffic and water drainage.

The lawyer for the developer, John Fallon, and the lawyer representing a neighbor, Joel Green, each brought in experts to discuss the concerns.

The commission questioned speakers on whether the drainage system would prevent heavy rain from flooding the road and neighbors yards and whether sight lines for drivers around the development would result in more accidents.

Those two issues are what Green sees as the most likely reasons the commission could deny the permit.

“This application presents a project that is just so intense and is such an overuse of the site,” Green said.

When the public spoke, most of those to step up to the podium decried the development, saying it posed a risk to the safety of the neighborhood. On the few occasions when someone did speak in support of it, the crowd often jeered.