City, developer settle on Huntington Village plan

Photo of Brian Gioiele

The Planning and Zoning Commission and developer of the proposed Huntington Village have reached an agreement that will place market value homes off Ripton Road and remove any plans for affordable housing on the site.

Huntington Village — a development of 16 single-family homes on approximately 6.15 acres behind the Huntington Congregational Church adjacent to Ripton Road — earned the commission’s approval by a 4-2 vote Wednesday, Oct. 23.

Opposed were commissioners Mark Widomski and Jimmy Tickey.

Approval of the plan settled a lawsuit brought by Primrose Development LLC and the Shelton Planning and Zoning Commission. It contained three conditions: a permanent conservation easement of two acres along the Centerview Drive properties; a permanent landscape buffer abutting 24 Ripton Road, and no more than 16 single family units on the final site plan.

The commission last year denied a plan by developer John Guedes, a Shelton resident and president/CEO of Primrose Development LLC, that called for 20 detached homes on a wooded tract off Ripton Road with an entrance between Centerview Drive and Huntington Congregational's rear parking lot entrance.

To complete the project, Guedes sought to create a Planned Development District on the property although the land was zoned for one-acre and half-acre lots.

Guedes appealed the denial. Earlier this year, while the appeal was still before the court, Guedes filed plans under section 8-30g of the state statutes for an 84-unit development on 6.5 acres on what is now Huntington Congregational Church-owned land.

The 8-30g statute gives developers of affordable housing projects that meet state criteria the ability to circumvent specific zoning rules, such as density regulations, setback distances and building heights.

The original plans for the detached housing caused an uproar when they were presented. Hundreds of people attended a public hearing on the application in the summer of 2018. In the end, the Planning and Zoning Commission denied the application. Guedes sued. It is that suit the settlement addresses.

Guedes said in February that if a settlement could be reached on the legal appeal, he would pull the affordable housing application. Guedes said that the church "needs to sell and try to maximize its profit," so one way or another the land will be sold.