Milford delays vote on accessory dwelling regulations

Milford City Hall, Spring 2021.

Milford City Hall, Spring 2021.

Hearst Connecticut Media

MILFORD — The city's Planning and Zoning Board delayed action on accessory dwelling units after residents raised a number of concerns at the board's recent public hearing.

An ADU is a separate small house or apartment that shares a lot with a larger main home.

According to board member Robert Satti, Milford's proposed regulations would allow owners to derive income from the ADU, and that the person living in the space does not have to be related to the owner. Milford also would limit ADU's size to 800 square feet and require it to be attached to the main structure.

During the meeting, some residents voiced concerns regarding parking and the effect it could have on neighborhoods under the proposed new regulations.

"I know some local ordinances and regulations deal with parking," Satti said. "I expect we can get (an) answer from (City Planner David) Sulkis at the appropriate time."

Another item brought up by the public was having the ADUs be deed-restricted and count as affordable housing.

"If you're doing affordable housing, by statute, it would need to be deed-restricted," said Sulkis. "With affordable housing, you have to know the people who are in the units, and they have to file an annual report about their income."

Sulkis said for the ADUs to be considered affordable housing under the state's 8-30g guideline, the city would need to follow state statute.

Satti suggested the board not take a vote during the meeting to consider all the new material brought up by the public.

"I think we should consider everything they have to say and find a way to address their concerns or good thoughts," he said.

During the meeting, Mayor Ben Blake stated the proposal was appropriate and balanced. He said back in August, he came before the board and asked the P&Z to opt-out of the ADU state regulation and consider more localized rules.

"I just ask that you consider this again, given my testimony back in August in a favorable light," he said.

Board of Aldermen Majority Chair Greg Harla also supported the proposed regulation.

"I'm before you as taxpayer civilian and would like to thank the board for the hard work and what they've done," he said. "I think the result shows a forward move for Milford and a forward move for what the goal was."

Milford resident Bruce Barrett said people with ADUs can now legally rent them because they don't have to be only for family.

"I'm fully in support of this," he said. "We are victims of our success. It's a wonderful town, and you and the people before you have made it an attractive place and a wonderful place to live in. But the result is landlords want to charge more in rent, and the prices go up, making it hard to live in Milford."