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The town has received for regulatory review Turkey Ridge, which is a proposed 11-lot subdivision of single-family houses at a 28.5-acre parcel at 96 Toddy Hill Road.
The undeveloped, wooded, sloping site lies west of Toddy Hill Road, north of Turkey Roost Road, south of Clearview Drive, and east and north of Kaechele Drive. The property is in a R-2 (Residential) zone, where typically a building lot would need to be at least two acres to meet the zoning regulations for such subdivision development.
However, because the applicant submitted the proposal under the terms of the Planning and Zoning Commission’s (P&Z) “open space conservation development” (OSCS) subdivision regulations, the building lots at the parcel would be considerably smaller, with most lots being a bit larger than one acre.
Through the OSCS regulations, which typically are known as “cluster housing,” relatively small lots at a site are “clustered” to maximize the amount of public open space land that is preserved at that site. Such public open space is used for passive forms of recreation such as hiking and nature study.
The OSCS rules require that at least 50 percent of a site be preserved as open space. The applicant proposes that 15.2 acres of the 28.5-acre parcel be kept as open space. In conventional subdivisions, at least 15 percent of a parcel must be designated as open space.
The owner of the Turkey Ridge site is the Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation of Trumbull, with Bishop Frank Caggiano listed as the applicant of record. The proposed developer of the property is Viade Development, LLC, of Woodbridge.
The Turkey Ridge proposal is scheduled for a P&Z public hearing at 7:30 pm on Thursday, June 1, at Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street. The owners of 83 properties that lie within 500 feet of the development site will be formally notified of that public hearing by mail.
Town land use officials have determined that the Turkey Ridge proposal will not have an Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) public hearing. Land use staff members will review the proposal administratively, checking on the wetlands/watercourses protection aspects of the plans, said Steve Maguire, the town’s senior land use enforcement officer.
The proposed development would not require any new roads, greatly simplifying the project’s construction.
The 11 proposed lots would have vehicular access to either Toddy Hill Road or to Turkey Roost Road. Each building lot would be served by individual water wells and individual septic waste disposal systems. Larry Edwards is listed as the project’s civil engineer.
The development plans for Turkey Ridge are on file for public review at the town Land Use Agency office at Newtown Municipal Center.
Although the P&Z created the OSCS rules in 2004, those regulations attracted no developers for many years. In 2011, the P&Z modified the OSCS rules to make them more appealing.
So far, only one OSCS subdivision has been approved by the IWC and the P&Z — The Preserve at Newtown. That project, which gained P&Z endorsement in February 2015, involves 23 building lots on 167 acres. About half of that site would be preserved as open space. That project involves two pockets of home construction. New homes have been constructed on Robin Hill Road #2, off Rock Ridge Road, and a new dead-end street is planned to extend from Scudder Road.
Also, another OSCS subdivision proposal has gained IWC approval, but has never been submitted by the developer for P&Z review. In 2013, the IWC granted the Sherman Woods project a wetlands/watercourses protection permit for 42 lots on a 158-acre parcel, where 107 acres would be preserved as open space. That land is in the area of Sherman Street, Still Hill Road, Sugarloaf Road, and Toddy Hill Road.