Bridgeport Avenue 2-family house will become 3-family

A two-family house at 265 Bridgeport Ave. will become a three-family house following Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) approval at its Jan. 16 meeting. The proposal received no public comment.

Attorney Thomas Lynch said the property was used until 1985 as a three-family house, and then when his client, John O’Connell, purchased the property, he converted the front section into his real estate office and retained one apartment. For the past 10 years, Lynch said the house has contained two apartments.

The proposal calls for constructing a 10 foot by 24 foot addition at the back to create room for a third apartment. A shed at the rear would be removed to create an additional parking space.

Lynch said the project has six parking spaces at the rear, which meets the requirements for the Corridor Design Development District 2 (CDD-2) zone. He said there is an additional parking space in front that he said City Planner David B. Sulkis recommended eliminating.

Lynch said the CDD-2 zone encourages mixed use and commercial development. He filed the application under a special exception, since he said a three-family use is neither allowed nor prohibited in the zone.

He said variances or an affordable housing application would be a way to circumvent the zoning regulations, but indicated O’Connell is not interested in pursuing this route.

“My client wants to keep the density low,” said Lynch. “He does not want to file an affordable housing application.”

Board member John Grant had concerns about a second means of exit from one apartment, which has a bedroom on the lower level. In discussions with O’Connell it became apparent there was an error in the plans, which had prompted Grant’s questions.

Grant said he favored approval only if one of the units was affordable under the state’s 8-30(g) regulation.

Grant made a motion to deny the application, but the motion failed with four members voting in favor and six opposed to denial.

Sulkis recommended making a motion to approve the project so the board “was not dealing with two double negatives.”

Board Vice Chairman Carl Moore made a motion to approve with the condition that the plans be revised to correct the error with regard to the basement egress. Board member Tom Panzella added the condition that the

project comply with recommendations from the city engineer with regard to a maintenance plan for the catch basins, utilities, and concrete curbs and sidewalks.

Grant did not receive support for an amendment to require one of the units to be affordable. The final vote was seven in favor and three against.

Devon Properties 265 LLC is the owner. John and Aileen O’Connell of Milford are listed as members. The 0.14-acre property has an 1,800 sq. ft. house that dates to 1930, and would be required to have a sprinkler system installed, which is part of the plans.