Developer envisions cluster housing near Birdseye Road

Monroe Town Hall is at 7 Fan Hill Road in Monroe. Photo by John Babina

MONROE, CT — Members of the Planning and Zoning Commission’s regulations subcommittee discussed preliminary plans for a nine lot subdivision for single family cluster housing at 1380 Monroe Turnpike, which is at the end of Birdseye Road.

The property is currently zoned Residential Farming-2, which requires building lots to be a minimum of two acres each. The developer wants to change it to a Recreational Residence District that allows lots to be a minimum of 0.75 acres.

In an RR zone, the number of units can be no higher than would be permitted in a conventional subdivision.

Jason Edwards, principal of J. Edwards and Associates, an engineering and surveying firm based in Easton, and Attorney Christopher Russo discussed the proposal on behalf of their client at the subcommittee meeting on April 15, before moving ahead with a formal application.

“An RR zone is right below it,” Russo said of a neighboring property. “It would be expanding the RR.”

Commissioner Leon Ambrosey asked if the Boys Halfway River runs through the property and Russo said it does. Edwards said there is open space on the other side of the river and Russo said their proposal would preserved a big chunk of the river.

The property would allow for the construction of 10 lots in a conventional subdivision in the RF-2 zone, but to further protect the wetlands, Edwards said they are proposing nine lots in an RR.

Russo said the smaller, 0.75 acre lots in an RR zone allow for cluster housing, leaving more undisturbed open space due to the dwellings being closer together.

“I think we’re getting away from our core regulations with this,” said Commissioner Robert Westlund. “It’s not in the spirit of our regulations. The open space isn’t usable to begin with. It’s a tradeoff.”

Chairman Michael O’Reilly noted that the Blue Dot trail is close to the property.

“There’s a lot of wetlands,” Ambrosey said.

Nicole Lupo, a commission alternate who serves on the subcommittee, said the proposal and another one, at 1536 Monroe Turnpike, discussed that night are both located in Fawn Hollow Elementary School’s district.

The school is already bursting at the seams with its current enrollment and Lupo said these new developments could add a further strain.

“I want to review it more,” Ambrosey said of the proposal.

All respectful comments with the commenter’s first and last name are welcome.


  1. Have the developer put up a 10 year bond to cover the wells and septic systems in the development and surrounding properties. The developer of my area did that for the substandard roads that he installed. When the roads failed the bond was used to repave.

  2. Have the developer provide a 10 year bond to cover the cost of repairs to septic systems and well water systems for the proposed houses, wet lands, and surrounding property, if problems occur. The developer of my area did that when he installed sub standard roads. When the roads failed, the town used the bond to cover the cost of repaving.

    • Great Idea – those zoning requirements have done their job of keeping Monroe from over development. When the developers bought those parcels, they were aware of the zoning requirements. Now they want to make more money by making changes. Taxes will go up to support all of the town resources (especially schools). That will force more seniors out and replace them with households with school age children. Long Island did exactly that starting in the late ’40’s. Take a ride out there and see how crowded it can be.

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