Milford P&Z tables vote on Caswell Cove condo expansion

MILVENT-2/25/04-Mia The Caswell Cove Condo Complex in Milford is having ventilation units installed today, to prevent further contamination from entering the buildings. ***see MCREADy story** Photo by Mia M Malafronte file;MIa0118d(4655)

MILVENT-2/25/04-Mia The Caswell Cove Condo Complex in Milford is having ventilation units installed today, to prevent further contamination from entering the buildings. ***see MCREADy story** Photo by Mia M Malafronte file;MIa0118d(4655)

MILFORD — Plans to add 44 units at Caswell Cove Condominiums is on hold, at least for now.

The developers are seeking to expand the complex, bringing the total number of condos to 248, with an additional 107 parking spaces. The Planning and Zoning Board, at its meeting Tuesday, tabled the application in order to examine newly submitted information.

Attorney Stephen Bellis, representing Primrose Companies, LLC, developer of the proposed units, said the local board approved 300 units for Caswell Cove in 1987.

“When you have a special permit recorded on the land records, it runs with the land, meaning it is still valid until today,” said Bellis, adding that the final approved site plan for Casewell Cove was in 1989, which allowed for 264 units.

“In Feb. 1992, the final analysis was there were 168 units that were not built and were still available to be built,” said Bellis. “That letter also stated that if there was going to be any changes to those 168 units we should come back to the Planning and Zoning Board.”

Bellis said Primrose is requesting 44 units, not the 168 that was approved.

“This will be the final phase of the Caswell Cove Condominium Association,” Bellis added.

Bellis told Hearst Connecticut Media that this application is an amendment to a special permit so it is a permitted use, and the environmental report showed no negative impact on the Housatonic River.

Jeffery Gordon, environmental planner and landscape architect working on the project, said the build-out of 44 two-bedroom units included 1,800 square feet of living area in each, and eight of the units are going to be considered accessible units.

“This is a market-rate development, not an affordable housing development,” he said. “But it does make use of a new statute the substitute house bill that was looking to make market-rate housing a little bit more affordable, but not qualifying as affordable.”

Due to the nature of the project being alongside the Housatonic River, Gordon said the project would handle runoff in three different ways.

“We are handling it with some infiltrators, water quality structures that separate grits and the sands and the oils based on the state requirements and the bio-filtration which is going to pick up some of the runoff and especially pick up the snowmelt,” he said.

State Rep. Frank Smith, who represents the state House in which sits the Caswell Cove Condominiums Association, asked P&Z board members to further examine the application primarily to the environmental considerations of the riverside development.

“The 44-unit, three-level complex is higher in density and introduces almost two acres paved and permeable surface with potential runoff to the river,” he said.

Community members also spoke on the plan, with nine against, six in favor.

Robert Cole spoke against the expansion, criticizing “greedy developers” building developments at the cost of the community.

Lisa Tyron said the single half-mile driveway with nine or more speed bumps is insufficient to accommodate the additional cars from the 44 proposed new units.

One of the members who spoke in favor was Dorothy Bateman, former president of Caswell Cove Condominiums, who said 87 percent of the residents had been in favor of the new units, and to her knowledge, they were still in favor.