No vote yet on New Haven Avenue apartment plan

City officials may be weighing impact of affordable housing appeals moratorium

1556 New Haven Avenue

This house at 1556 New Haven would become a two-family house and six apartments would be built in its rear yard under a plan filed with the city’s Planning and Zoning office.

In Milford, the Planning and Zoning Board held the final portion of a public hearing Tuesday on an apartment plan filed under the state’s affordable housing law. The board closed the hearing and expects to vote on the application at its next meeting.

Bella Properties of Milford hopes to put eight apartments on a piece of land at 1556 New Haven Avenue that is slightly larger than half an acre.

Many neighbors oppose the project because they say it’s too dense for the neighborhood, and a moratorium announced yesterday may actually work in their favor.

Milford legislators gathered at City Hall at noon  Tuesday to announce a one year moratorium on affordable housing appeals in Milford.

“Over the past year, developers have used Connecticut’s affordable housing appeals procedure to circumvent Milford’s zoning laws at an unprecedented rate,” incumbent legislators said in a press release. “Hundreds of citizens have spoken out, suggesting that this prevents the city from building affordable housing in a deliberate, thoughtful manner consistent with Milford’s Plan of Conservation and Development.”

At Tuesday night’s Planning and Zoning Board meeting, Chairman Ben Gettinger said he interprets the moratorium to mean that the board can bypass the affordable housing laws if an application does not comply with Milford’s zoning regulations.

He said, however, that Governor Dannel Malloy still has to sign the legislation.

At the same time, Milford Republican Town Chairman Paul Beckwith criticized the moratorium, calling it an election year stunt.

“Today’s announcement of a one-year moratorium on the 8-30g appeals process falls short of what is truly needed to protect our neighborhoods from over-development,” Beckwith said.

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