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Traffic Report Submitted For Hunters Ridge Proposal

Published: December 23, 2017

A traffic study on the Hunters Ridge mixed-use complex proposed for 79 Church Hill Road lists a range of traffic improvements for that area which would be employed in light of an anticipated increase in traffic volume due to the presence of 224 rental apartments, plus a shopping center, medical/dental office complex, and a restaurant.

The traffic study was prepared by Frederick P. Clark Associates, Inc, of Fairfield for developer 79 Church Hill Road, LLC, of Trumbull. The report was submitted to the town Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) and to the state Department of Transportation, and the Office of State Traffic Administration (OSTA).

The firm known as 79 Church Hill Road, LLC, is proposing the project for a 35-acre site at that address (see Google Map, above). The parcel is owned by Carmine Renzulli of Norwalk. The developer would purchase that land if all required development approvals are received.

The site is roughly triangular in shape, with a small section of the parcel having frontage on Church Hill Road. The vacant site is bounded on the south by Church Hill Road, on the east by Walnut Tree Hill Road, on the north by seven properties along Evergreen Road, and on the west by westbound I-84 and its Exit 10 interchange ramps.

The report lists traffic improvements proposed by the applicant, as well some traffic improvements that the DOT is expected to make in the area.

The applicant proposes installing a new traffic signal at the intersection of Church Hill Road and Walnut Tree Hill Road. Turning lanes also are proposed for that intersection. The proposed traffic signal would be coordinated with an existing nearby traffic signal at the intersection of Church Hill Road and westbound I-84’s Exit 10 ramps.

The applicant proposes creating four two-way driveways on the west side of Walnut Tree Hill Road for the mixed-use complex. Two driveways would serve the commercial area at the southern end of the site, and the other two driveways would serve the multifamily residential area at the northeastern section of the property.

Left turns and right turns would be permitted for vehicles exiting the southernmost driveway. The developer, however, proposes prohibiting left turns by the vehicles exiting the three other driveways.

In the traffic study, the developer lists various traffic improvements that are anticipated by the DOT for the intersections of Church Hill Road and Interstate 84’s Exit 10 eastbound and westbound ramps.

Also, the DOT plans to start construction in mid-2018 on a project to shift the southern end of Edmond Road westward to create a conventional signalized four-way intersection of Church Hill Road, Edmond Road, and Commerce Road. The traffic safety project is intended to improve travel conditions in that area, which has the highest accident rate in town.

The traffic report states that the proposed Hunters Ridge development is estimated to generate 193, 292, and 322 “new” vehicle trips during the weekday morning, weekday afternoon, and Saturday midday peak hours, respectively.

Drawings for the project indicate that the 224 rental apartments would include 116 one-bedroom units and 108 two-bedroom units, for a total of 332 bedrooms. There would be a total of 648 parking spaces provided, including 396 residential spaces, 170 spaces for the retail uses, and 82 spaces for the office uses. There would be nine six-vehicle garages for a total of 54 garaged vehicles, and three eight-vehicle carports for a total of 24 vehicles with carport access.

The six multistory residential buildings at the northeastern section of the property would be constructed on slopes, with three residential levels shown at their facades, and four levels at the rear, where there would be walkout basements. Four residential buildings would have 42 dwellings each, and the two smaller residential buildings would have 28 dwellings each. The multigabled structures with pitched roofs would have balconies.

As amenities, the Hunters Ridge complex would have a clubhouse, outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, playground, community gardens, and trails, among other features.

Past proposals to develop the site have been controversial, drawing strong objections from nearby residents. A 2015 proposal to develop the site by 79 Church Hill Road, LLC, was rejected by the town.

Hunters Ridge would be constructed across Walnut Tree Hill Road from Walnut Tree Village, a 212-unit age-restricted condominium complex.

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