By TAYLOR HARTZ
Residents lined up to speak at a March 15 public hearing for the Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC). The topic of conversation was a 72-lot subdivision planned for Loper Street.
Residents were asked to voice their opinions about the two types of subdivisions being considered for the area—a conventional subdivision, with homes built on half-acre lots, or an open space subdivision with more homes built in clusters. The second plan leaves more land between the current residences and new homes.
While several residents spoke out against any development in the neighborhood at all, PZC Chairman Michael DelSanto reminded residents that the purpose of the hearing was to choose between the two types of developments.
“Clearly the property is going to be developed, there’s not question about it,” said Woodberry Hill Drive resident David Jermaiken, who spoke in favor of the open space.
The open space subdivision requires the developer, AA Denorfia Building and Development, to obtain a special permit from the town. The open space plan would create a 72-lot subdivision, with residences built on parcels that are one-third of an acre.
Anthony Denorfia, the applicant for the project, addressed concerns and answered questions from residents of the neighborhood.
Nine residents spoke in support of the open space application, favoring the additional open space land.
“I think there’s a lot of value to the open space plan,” said Laura Rogalski, of Woodberry Hill Drive.
Jon Snader, also of Woodberry Hill Drive, said that he and his neighbors were happy with other homes Denorfia had built in the area.
Eight others spoke out against the open space plan, saying they favored the conventional subdivision. Those against the open space shared concerns that the town did not have the infrastructure to support the additional households, and that the clustered lots did not adhere to requirements of a half-acre lot per home.
Other concerns included drainage, road safety, and traffic.
Commissioner Paul Chaplinsky explained that if a developer comes to the PZC with a plan that meets the half-acre requirement, the PZC can give them the option to allow more cluster housing in exchange for open space.
Denorfia asked that the public hearing be kept open until the next meeting, on April 5. Denorfia said he hired a traffic engineer to conduct a study in the neighborhood, and he asked that the board waits for that to be completed before closing the hearing.
The PZC agreed not to close the public hearing or vote on the application until the next meeting.