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Developer Proposes Smaller Housing-Only Version: WSA Rejects Initial Hunters Ridge Mixed-Use Proposal

Published: April 13, 2018

Water & Sewer Authority (WSA) members on April 12 rejected a request for municipal sanitary sewer service for Hunters Ridge, a controversial mixed-use complex proposed for a 35-acre site at 79 Church Hill Road, which would have included 224 rental apartments and approximately 55,000 square feet of commercial space, requiring about 44,000 gallons of daily sewage treatment capacity.

The WSA did not act on an informal alternate proposal from 79 Church Hill Road, LLC, which had sought sewer service for 196 rental apartments and somewhat less than 55,000 square feet of commercial space, requiring about 33,000 gallons of daily sewage treatment capacity, which is the town’s amount of unallocated treatment capacity that remains in the sewer system.

Attorney Christopher Smith, representing the developer, on April 12 then informally proposed to WSA members a third version of the project which would include 141 apartments and no commercial space, requiring approximately 21,000 gallons of daily sewage treatment capacity.

The third version of the project would be constructed on an approximately 3.5-acre section of the 35-acre site which lies nearest to Church Hill Road. That 3.5-acre area lies within the town’s central sanitary sewer district, while the other 31.5 acres do not. Mr Smith said that the remaining 31.5 acres could eventually be developed through the use of a large-scale septic system.

After extended discussion, WSA members decided that they would consider a request for 20,868 gallons of daily sewage treatment capacity at a May 10 WSA meeting.

Mr Smith said the latest proposal for Hunters Ridge would contain two four-story buildings holding rental apartments. One building would have 77 units and the other would contain 64 dwellings.

Town zoning regulations do not allow that high a construction density for such development. The developer, however, might pursue court approval for such a project through the provisions of the state’s Affordable Housing Appeals Act. Such a 141-unit complex would have 30 percent of its units, or 43 dwellings, designated as affordable housing.

A full recap of the April 12 WSA meeting will be presented in the April 20, 2018 print edition.

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