Zoning commission leans toward approval of Quarry Ridge housing

Attorney Christopher Russo presents Quarry Ridge, a 99 unit cluster housing development proposed for Turkey Roost Road, during a Planning and Zoning Commission hearing Thursday.

MONROE, CT — A developer’s willingness to compromise may lead to an approval of Quarry Ridge, a proposal to build a 99-unit cluster housing community on Turkey Roost Road, which includes six affordable units within three one-story duplexes.

It has 81 less bedrooms than the initial plan and the applicant would plant hundreds of trees, while preserving over 80 acres of open space — 31 more acres than regulations require.

During deliberations on the special exception permit application last Thursday, Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Michael O’Reilly reminded the commission that the applicant’s consultant and the town’s consultant agree that Turkey Roost Road could handle the additional traffic.

O’Reilly also mentioned the preservation of an extra 31 acres of open space. “Our consultants agree there will be a net positive revenue,” he added.

“I do like that they worked with us and came back with a proposal to reduce it by 81 bedrooms,” Commissioner Ryan Condon said. “A lot denser of a development could go in there. This is as close to the best case scenario.”

Condon said he also likes how the developer agreed to have sidewalks throughout the complex. “I’m in favor,” he said. “I think it’s as close to the best we can do here.”

“I agree with Ryan,” said Dominic Smeraglino, a commission alternate who was a seated member for the meeting.

“A compromise is what best describes what was brought by the applicant,” Commissioner Robert Westlund said.

Westlund said he thinks the knee jerk reaction when this size development is proposed in Monroe is to oppose it because of the impact on traffic and the schools.

“I think it will be a slightly negative or neutral impact,” he said of the project. “If we turn it down and it goes to court, they could come back with a higher density project and a worse situation for Monroe.”

Westlund also said if the commission pushed for a safety audit of the road it could backfire and end up forcing the town to make costly repairs.

“It is something I’m leaning toward a positive approval on,” he said of the application.

Commissioner Leon Ambrosey, who had requested the road safety audit said the development would bring significantly more traffic to a narrow road with blindspots, a road he said should be fixed.

If Quarry Ridge is approved, Ambrosey said the housing would not only bring more traffic from new residents, but also from delivery trucks.

Planning and Zoning Administrator Kathleen Gallagher will draft a resolution of approval with conditions for commissioners to vote on at their meeting on May 9.

During the hearing, neighboring residents expressed strong opposition to the application due to a doubling of traffic on Turkey Roost Road and the potential impact on the school system, particularly Fawn Hollow Elementary School, which is already bursting at the seams from high student enrollment.

Christopher Russo, an attorney for the applicant, said the revised estimate for the number of school age children the development may bring is 66, adding this does not account for the possibility of some of the children going to private school.

RKG Associates, the consulting firm hired by the town, estimates the project would bring another 86 school age children.

Construction of the housing is estimated to take about six years to complete.

Rather than every unit having four bedrooms as was originally proposed, 63 units would have three bedrooms, 30 units would have four and the six affordable units would have one bedroom each.

Russo said his client anticipates that the affordable units would sell for about $200,000 each, the three bedroom units for $750,000 and the four bedroom units for $800,000.

Several residents and some commissioners have expressed skepticism that the units would sell for that much.

The 150 acre plus property is located at 139, 141, and 201 Turkey Roost Road and 30 Cobblers Hill Court. It is in a Multifamily Housing Residential District (MFR).

The MFR regulations permit a density of 99 units of detached dwellings or 247 units of attached dwellings. “My client has chosen the far less dense option,” Russo said in his closing statement.

Russo noted how his client remediated a property that looked had become a “moonscape” after the previous owner ran an illegal quarrying operation, and said the cluster housing would be thickly buffered by existing vegetation and the planting of hundreds of trees.

His client would pay for installation of a waterline, which neighboring residents could pay to hook into, Russo said, adding it will allow fire hydrants to be installed, which would reduce homeowners’ insurance premiums, while increasing their safety.

Russo said net revenue from the development would be enough for the town to hire another police officer.

The applicant agreed to have six affordable units to help the town with its need for that type of housing, even though he was not required to, Russo said.

“This development will be a great addition to the town,” he said. “There’s 81 acres of land to be preserved as open space in perpetuity.”

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


  1. It is sad to hear this we attended 4 meetings and expressed our opinion about Quarry Ridge Project building 81 homes on Turkey Roost Road and still the Board is leaning towards building all those homes. Guess we attended those meetings and gave up our time for nothing. Why bother attending the Town Board meetings when they already knows what they want to do SAD 😞

    • Why do you people never read the article. It clearly states that if they declined it the developer could have gone through the state and proposed a much more dense project that the town wouldn’t have a say over it.

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