A historic Milford house at 87 Golden Hill St. is being rehabilitated into a three-family house, with a possible fourth unit on the second floor of the rear carriage house, following unanimous Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Board approval of the site plan and granting of a special permit at its Dec. 5 meeting.

Attorney Kevin Curseaden described the property condition as “blighted” due to litigation involving the former owner. Curseaden said the P&Z previously approved three units for the main house, but that approval has expired. The property has a 3,685 square foot three-family house constructed in 1880. He said the carriage house at the rear dates to around 1847.

Curseaden said that Jimmy Zeko of Bella Properties purchased the property when it was under foreclosure. According to city records, Bella Properties LLC bought the 0.22-acre property in the Milford Center Design District (MCDD) on Feb. 2, 2017 for $165,000.

“Zeko has put a tremendous amount of money into the property,” said Curseaden, commenting that the house already has certificates of occupancy.

The house exterior will remain unchanged, except for the addition of a fire escape. Curseaden said the asphalt driveway has been removed and replaced with gravel, which reduces the impermeable surfaces on the property.

The board honored his request to give Zeko three years to install sidewalks, curbing, and a paved driveway apron, and make improvements to the on site utilities, which was requested by City Engineer Gregory Pidluski.

City Planner David B. Sulkis said that any time there are “substantial improvements” to a property, the city seeks to have sidewalks brought up to city standards. Sulkis said the previous approval took place in 2008.

Curseaden said he thought the requirement was “overarching in a situation like this” because the project does not involve a new structure or significant paving. He asked for the additional time due to work involved in rehabilitating the carriage house.

Board member Michael Dolan said the existing house is blighted and “looks terrible” and it is in the best interest of the city to allow the three years for this work because Bella is fixing up a blighted property.

“I think we should cut the developer a break on this,” said Dolan.

Bella needs to return with an application for the carriage house due to the fact that the structure extends 10 to 11 feet over the property line onto the state right of way for the Metro North railroad. Curseaden said the carriage house unit is dependent on Bella Properties reaching a lease agreement with the state, which he said he is pursuing.