Site eyed for affordable housing

CORNWALL — A piece of property toward the southern end of town has been identified as a potential “incentive housing zone� (IHZ).

The riverfront property at 116 Kent Road (Route 7) in Cornwall Bridge is the best site found within the towns served by a regional planning program, according to Jocelyn Ayers, a planner with the eight-town Northwestern Connecticut Regional Planning Cooperative.

Ayers made a presentation to the Planning and Zoning Commission (P & Z) and Board of Selectmen on Nov. 10.

Such zones, she said, are sometimes referred to as “legalized spot zoning.�

“They allow towns to properly zone for the purpose of affordable housing, and to dictate design aspects that keep housing within the character of the town,� Ayers said.

The 18-acre property, owned by John Bates, has four developable acres with good soils that would support dense development. In the incentive housing zone, 20 percent of housing would be deed-restricted as affordable. In this case, the site would support 16 units and up to 33 bedrooms, the latter determined by septic guidelines. It factors out to three affordable homes.

Ayers said the next step is for the cooperative to write a draft proposal of regulations for that property that will be sent to P&Z for review. A public informational meeting and public hearing would follow, probably in January or February.

“The goal is to write into the regulations as much flexibility as possible,� Ayers said. “We need to meet state regulations, but the regulations are unique to that particular zone.�

In Cornwall, that means relaxing the minimum 3-acre lot size.

“At first, we wondered how you fit four houses on an acre in Cornwall,� First Selectman Gordon Ridgway said. “Then we realized that our town centers already have that density.

The cooperative is also exploring a partnership with the Cornwall Housing Corporation on the project.

Latest News

Robert J. Pallone

NORFOLK — Robert J. Pallone, 69, of Perkins St. passed away April 12, 2024, at St. Vincent Medical Center. He was a loving, eccentric CPA. He was kind and compassionate. If you ever needed anything, Bob would be right there. He touched many lives and even saved one.

Bob was born Feb. 5, 1955 in Torrington, the son of the late Joesph and Elizabeth Pallone.

Keep ReadingShow less
The artistic life of Joelle Sander

"Flowers" by the late artist and writer Joelle Sander.

Cornwall Library

The Cornwall Library unveiled its latest art exhibition, “Live It Up!,” showcasing the work of the late West Cornwall resident Joelle Sander on Saturday, April 13. The twenty works on canvas on display were curated in partnership with the library with the help of her son, Jason Sander, from the collection of paintings she left behind to him. Clearly enamored with nature in all its seasons, Sander, who split time between her home in New York City and her country house in Litchfield County, took inspiration from the distinctive white bark trunks of the area’s many birch trees, the swirling snow of Connecticut’s wintery woods, and even the scenic view of the Audubon in Sharon. The sole painting to depict fauna is a melancholy near-abstract outline of a cow, rootless in a miasma haze of plum and Persian blue paint. Her most prominently displayed painting, “Flowers,” effectively builds up layers of paint so that her flurry of petals takes on a three-dimensional texture in their rough application, reminiscent of another Cornwall artist, Don Bracken.

Keep ReadingShow less
A Seder to savor in Sheffield

Rabbi Zach Fredman

Zivar Amrami

On April 23, Race Brook Lodge in Sheffield will host “Feast of Mystics,” a Passover Seder that promises to provide ecstasy for the senses.

“’The Feast of Mystics’ was a title we used for events back when I was running The New Shul,” said Rabbi Zach Fredman of his time at the independent creative community in the West Village in New York City.

Keep ReadingShow less