SHELTON — A Dogwood Drive home will soon become a unique living option for senior citizens.

While no application is required for the new use, Planning and Zoning Administrator Alex Rossetti updated the Planning and Zoning Commission on the plan, the first of its kind in the city, which is designed to treat senior housing like a college suite: unrelated people with individual bedrooms sharing common space.

Rossetti told the P&Z Wednesday that last fall the department was informed by the property owner that the home would be rented to up to six unrelated seniors.

“There is no application for the commission to act on regarding this matter because this single-family use is like the thousands of other single-family residences in the city that do not require our review,” said Rossetti. “To do so would be an act of housing discrimination.

“This is an unorthodox use, and it was discussed amongst staff and corporation counsel over many months,” added Rossetti. “We are informing the commission of this use, for your own knowledge and in case you receive any questions.”

Rossetti said the members of the household will share the kitchen and common areas, and each has a private bedroom. They will share the costs of transportation and health care providers to assist in meal prep, medication reminders and daily needs. They will also be allowed to have visitors during the day.

“To be clear, this is not a convalescent home, as it will not be state-certified,” said Rossetti. “The people residing at this location will be permanent residents, paying monthly rent, like a typical single-family paying rent or like a group of university students renting a house to live together with cleaning services.”

According to regulations, Rossetti said, the house will function as a family, and not as a room and board business. Section 5.12 characterizes a family as “…a group of not more than six persons who need not be so related, who are living as a single housekeeping unit maintaining a common household.” The proposed use is in greater alignment with the definition than as a room and board facility, Rossetti added.

“This use has been in front of Connecticut courts with rulings that this use is most similar to that of a typical single-family residence, not any other type of medical care facility or a boarding house,” said Rossetti. “Both the corporation counsel and staff have reviewed the material and reached a similar conclusion.”

Rossetti said the P&Z office will monitor the location to make sure residents are complying with the regulations governing similar housing options.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com