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Saddle Ridge Denied by Easton's Planning & Zoning

EASTON, Conn. — Saddle Ridge Developers LLC were denied a second time this summer in Easton — this time by the Planning & Zoning Commission.

The town's Planning & Zoning voted unanimously Aug. 8 to deny the amended application for an affordable housing project at Sport Hill Road, Silver Hill Road, Cedar Hill Road and Westport Road.

The resolution says the applicant made eight modifications from the original proposal, which was denied in February.

These modifications are: a density reduction from 105 to 99 dwellings; a reduction in overall impervious cover from 10.09 acres to 6.37 acres; increased paved travel width for all driveways to 24 feet; the removal of four of the six dwellings resulted in a shorter common driveway for Lot 2; a box culvert replaced a reinforced concrete pipe to designate the roadway crossing the wetland; the amount of proposed earth disturbance in upland review was decreased by 5,275 square feet; an increase of landscape plantings; and the proposed Housing Opportunity Development District regulations and proposed affordability plan were modified to reflect changes in proposed development plans.

In July , Easton's Conservation Commission concluded there was a "high probability the development would result in significant adverse impact on the site's wetlands and watercourses," the August resolution states.

The Planning & Zoning Commission found the reduction in dwellings was an "insignificant modification," which "fails to address the very substantial concerns about an excessive density of development on a public water supply watershed."

The reduction in impervious cover is a result of replacing pavement with permeable pavers. GHD, a consulting engineer for the town, said that because these pavers would be placed on a slope, rather than store water in the stone layer, it would act as a rapid underdrain system. This could damage the surface and possibly force homeowners to pave it over — "eliminating the proposed benefit."

The resolution states changes to site disturbance are "insignificant to overcome the problem of overly intensive development of the site's upland areas."

The landscape planting "does not suffice to replace the virtual clear cutting of all proposed developed areas on the site nor serve to address well-documented commission concerns about the intensity of development proposed for this site," the resolution states.

The Saddle Ridge Developers filed an appeal against the Conservation Commission's July decision on Aug. 3.

The Aug. 8 Planning & Zoning resolution can be read here . The Planning & Zoning resolution from February can be read here. The Conservation Commission resolution can be read here . The Saddle Ridge appeal can be read here .

Do you think the Planning & Zoning Commission made the right decision? Leave your comments in the box below.

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