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Four Meetings On Hunters Ridge Project Rescheduled

Published: March 12, 2018

Four public meetings on a scaled-down version of Hunters Ridge, a controversial mixed-use complex proposed for 79 Church Hill Road, have been rescheduled by the town.

Developer 79 Church Hill Road, LLC, which initially had proposed 224 rental apartments for the 35-acre site, is now proposing 196 dwellings for the property. Also, the developer now proposes reducing by some degree an initially proposed 55,000 square feet of commercial space at the site.

Those design changes came after the developer had learned that the town does not have as much unallocated sewage treatment capacity as the developer had initially requested for the project.

Nonetheless, the Board of Selectmen on March 5 recommended that the Water & Sewer Authority (WSA) not provide the proposed complex with municipal sanitary sewer service.

The WSA meeting on Hunters Ridge, which was initially scheduled for March 8 to consider the developer’s request for sewer service, was canceled due to problems caused by a March 7 snowstorm. That WSA session has been rescheduled to 7 pm on Wednesday, March 21, in the lower conference room at Town Hall South, 3 Main Street.

The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z), which had been scheduled to hold its second public hearing on the Hunters Ridge proposal on March 15 has removed that item from that meeting’s agenda. That P&Z public hearing has been rescheduled to Thursday, April 5. The time and location will be announced.

However, the P&Z is scheduled to meet at 7:30 pm on Thursday, March 15, at Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street, to conduct its second public hearing on the proposed 74-unit Riverwalk multifamily complex on Washington Avenue in Sandy Hook Center. On that night, the P&Z also plans to conduct an initial public hearing on a proposed residential subdivision at Cherry Grove Farm.

The Inland Wetlands Commission’s (IWC) second public hearing on Hunters Ridge, which had been scheduled for Wednesday, March 14, will now be held on Wednesday, April 11. The time and location will be announced. The IWC, however, plans to hold a brief meeting on March 14 simply to announce that the Hunters Ridge public hearing will be continued to April 11.

Also, the Aquifer Protection Agency (APA), which is comprised of IWC members, which had been slated to meet on March 14 on Hunters Ridge, has rescheduled that session to Wednesday, April 11. The APA session will immediately follow the IWC hearing in the same location. The APA makes recommendations to the P&Z on protecting the Pootatuck Aquifer.

The development site is bounded on the south by Church Hill Road, on the east by Walnut Tree Hill Road, on the north by residential properties on Evergreen Road, and on the west by the Exit 10 interchange ramps for westbound Interstate 84.

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