MONROE, CT — A plan to build a 196-unit luxury housing community with a clubhouse, swimming pool and other amenities on the 19.6-acre Pond View property at 127 Main St. received unanimous approval with conditions from the Planning and Zoning Commission Thursday night.
Neighboring property owners expressed concerns over traffic congestion on Main Street, with the driveway near the busy intersection with a Dunkin’ Donuts, gas station and Duchess restaurant across the street, as well as the potential impact on the school system.
On Thursday, Planning and Zoning Administrator Rick Schultz noted the plan is consistent with the town Plan of Conservation and Development’s recommendation that a variety of housing types are needed in Monroe, including apartments for empty nesters and young professionals.
Those recommendations asked that apartments be in appropriate areas, such as Main Street and along commercial sections of routes 111 and 34.
Schultz also said 127 Main St. is one of three sites recognized for apartments in the town’s housing plan and that its 20 affordable rental units comply with the town’s affordable housing plan.
The applicant will serve as the oversight agency for the affordable units to ensure compliance with annual reporting and income verification, according to the Planning and Zoning Commission’s written approval.
Schultz recalled how the commission adopted a Mixed Use Design District and Special Development District as a zoning tool to allow for more flexible uses of properties that are a minimum of two acres. The Pond View housing is Monroe’s first SDD.
“It is a significant land use decision,” Schultz said before the commission’s vote.
Chairman Michael O’Reilly, Vice Chairman Bruno Maini, Secretary Ryan Condon, Commissioner Leon Ambrosey and Dominic Smeraglino III, a commission alternate filling in for Robert Westlund, all voted yes.
The housing, applied for by Pond View LLC, includes 196-units spread out over seven apartment buildings, a clubhouse with a fitness room, a pool area with a pool house, a maintenance building and four detached garages.
Among its amenities are a fenced dog park and recreation areas with fire pits, walking paths, a putting green, a bocce court, hammocks, sculptures and a screen for outdoor movies.
Continental Properties, a privately owned real estate firm primarily focused on development, redevelopment, and management of residential and commercial real estate investments throughout the United States, will manage the Pond View complex.
Founded over 50 years ago, it built over 25,000 homes throughout New Jersey, New York, Florida, Connecticut, California and other locations.
Howard S. Rappaport, a principal with Continental Properties, said it has communities in Trumbull, Shelton, Glastonbury, Rocky Hill and South Windsor. Of the 23 residential communities it built, he said Continental Properties still owns 19.
The complex will be served by a private subsurface septic system and public water supply. The developer will construct a sidewalk along the frontage on Main Street.
The housing plan also has an approval from the Inland Wetlands Commission.
The Planning and Zoning Commission approval notes that the applicant discussed the proposal with the fire marshal, police department and superintendent of schools.
The applicant provided additional onsite parking, including the construction of four detached garages with 42 garage spaces for both tenants and visitors to accommodate the increased number of dwelling units.
The applicant also provided plans for additional parking if necessary.
The resolution approved by the commission includes the following as a reason for approval: “The Zoning Actions will not alter or have a negative traffic impact to the existing infrastructure, nor will it adversely impact neighboring properties.”
Among the conditions of approval, the applicant “shall provide adequate signage on the primary access drive identifying access to the secondary travel way to Judd Road.”
Additional landscaping will be required at the top of the property near neighboring residences.
A fall zone fence with landscaping in front of it will be required at the rock face on the westerly side of the site.
A student bus stop area will be provided on Main Street (Route 25), a safe, properly designed area for the pickup and drop off of students.
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