Letter to Old Lyme Zoning Commission, River Oak Commons I
Old Lyme Zoning Commission
52 Lyme Street
Old Lyme, CT 06371
June 11, 2018
RE: Affordable Housing Application
Neck Road Hope Housing, LLC, Applicant
River Oak Commons I
Dear Commission Members:
This Application has been made by Neck Road Hope
Housing, LLC whose Sole Member is Neck Road, LLC of which we the undersigned are the Members. For this reason, we will use the names HOPE and Women’s Institute for convenience.
HOPE and Women’s Institute realize that our timeline for approval has presented too short a period of time for the Commission’s professional consultants to review and report back to you on the extensive amount of materials that we have provided so you can make the decision required of you under the affordable housing statute known as CGS Section 8-30g.
We have done our best to provide the materials in a timely fashion, however, the public may not be aware that the septic systems required monitoring of subsurface water conditions during the Spring “wet season” over which we had no control.
Also, as we agreed to do in an early appearance before the Commission, we provided a supplement to our Traffic Impact Study updated to included 2018 Memorial Day counts. We provided the updated study to the Commission’s independent traffic engineers, Milone & MacBroom immediately upon our receipt and analysis of the data. This did provide the Commission’s traffic engineer with the opportunity to report to the Commission by the opening of your June 5, 2018 Public Hearing, however, it did not provide enough time for review by the public.
We forthrightly disclosed to you the verbal report to our traffic engineer from the DOT Engineer that the State is declining to install a stop sign at the right-turn lane at the bottom of the I-95 Northbound exit ramp at this time. The Commission’s traffic engineer recommends the Applicant investigate possible alternatives. We and our traffic engineer readily agreed. We also heard your concerns expressed with regard to school bus drop-off / pick-up, pedestrian safety and left hand turns (northbound) out of the entry driveway.
The inquiries into these matters by our traffic engineer and site engineer cannot be properly and professionally accomplished in time for filing and sufficient review before the Commission’s July 2nd regular meeting.
We also recognize the need for the town engineer in particular to report to you, which cannot be accomplished until his return in late June. There would still be scarce time for his review and any needed response by us to his review before your next regular meeting of July 2, 2018.
We also recognize and support the right of the public to review our plans and to provide informed comment for your consideration. Our request for an extension reflects our recognition of their rights. As we have reported to you, we have done our due diligence. We will be submitting for the Record some additional items, which you or others have requested, above and beyond what is required under this Application.
Not only does your July 2, 2018 regular meeting pose a still tight timeline for the review of our materials, but it also is a potentially problematical to hold a Public Hearing just before the July 4th holiday. We are committed to ensuring a thorough and thoughtful process, and recognizes that the July 4th holiday could potentially limit the opportunity for review by the Commission and public.
We are hereby requesting an extension of time for the completion of the Public Hearing through end of day Friday, July 20, 2018 to provide the Commission the opportunity to select that date, or an earlier date as appropriate, for continuation of the Public Hearing. We will make no presentation at your meeting tonight.
The Applicant is aware through our counsel and yours that CGS Section 8-3(g)(1) provides that whenever the approval of a site plan is the only requirement to be met or remaining to be met under the Zoning Regulations, there is an automatic approval. The Applicants hereby acknowledge that its Application does not seek site plan approval under the Zoning Regulations, but rather only under the provisions of CGS Section 8-30g. Since a Public Hearing has been commenced for this Application, the Applicant further acknowledges that the provisions of CGS Section 8-7d(b) apply. Specifically, the Public Hearing shall be completed within 35 days after such Hearing commences and that the Applicant may consent to one or more extensions of the Public Hearing completion deadline for a period of no longer than 65 days.
Thank you for your consideration of this request and we hereby consent to the July 20, 2018 completion date or such earlier date that week the Commission may select.
Lauren Ashe, Executive Director, HOPE Partnership
Kristin Anderson, Development Manager, Women’s institute for Housing and Economic Development