Minor change approved for Pond Point housing development

Three years after the city and a developer agreed to a court-stipulated judgment for a subdivision at 86 Pond Point Ave., the developer returned with a request for a slight change in the project, which the Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) approved.
On May 17, 2016, the city and developer Thomas Colucci, under the name of Colberg LLC, agreed in Superior Court to settle the dispute between the two parties regarding a housing development with an affordable component at 86 Pond Point Ave.
The board denied the original project that called for constructing 22 condominium units and keeping the existing house on Dec. 19, 2013, citing concerns about increased traffic on Pond Point Avenue, and the loss of open space that provided a wildlife buffer.
Under the May 2016 agreement, the board agreed to issue a zoning permit allowing Colucci to construct a 12-lot subdivision, consisting of 10 single-family homes, and two duplexes. Two of the four duplex units were to be designated as “housing opportunity units,” along with two of the single-family houses.
The board revisited the project at its May 7, 2019 meeting, spending about half an hour in executive session to discuss a change in the project, requested by Colucci. The board returned from executive session to vote unanimously to accept the change.
Following the meeting, City Planner David B. Sulkis explained that Colucci wanted to change the market-rate duplex to a market-rate single-family home. Sulkis said the court had to certify this change in the terms of the settlement. The court certified the change on May 13, 2019.
The homes are arranged in a conventional subdivision on both sides of a new street called Marceline Lane with a cul-de-sac on the 2.7-acre property. The original plan called for clusters of apartment buildings near the property borders. Two homes are located on Pond Pond Avenue, with another yet to be built near that road.
Colucci purchased the property for $465,000 on June 16, 2010. As of early May 2019, six homes and the duplex had been constructed. The 2,200-square-foot home at 12 Marceline Lane sold on Feb. 20, 2019 for $475,000, while the 2,100-square-foot house at 2 Marceline Lane sold for $439,000 on Sept. 4, 2018.
The project road is a 26-foot wide cul-de-sac that is designated as a city street, and the city would maintain the retention pond in the project. Colucci agrees to construct sidewalks on Pond Point Avenue, but not on the cul-de-sac, and will also install concrete curbs and driveway aprons in the new road.
The plan was submitted under the state’s affordable housing law, 8-30g, which gives local zoning boards little power to regulate projects that have deed-restricted affordable housing.
Following the P&Z decision, Superior Court Judge Marshall Berger approved the change, based on the fact that both parties were in agreement with the modification, there is a density reduction, and there is no change in the affordability plan or the number of affordable units.