Hawks Ridge developer seeks more housing

A three-acre parcel on Beard Sawmill Parkway may now be used for housing instead of eventually expanding the senior living facility under construction on an adjacent eight-acre parcel.

Both properties were part of a Planned Development District (PDD) approved primarily for the large Hawks Ridge residential development off Long Hill Cross Road. The zoning was changed from light industrial use to a PDD for housing, which generated significant neighborhood opposition.

At the April 10 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, developer A.J. Grasso said Brightview Senior Living won't be purchasing the three-acre parcel and he expects to soon submit an application for residential use on the land, which abuts the Route 8 highway.

Brightview is now building a 160-unit facility with independent living, assisted living and dementia sections that should open in June 2019.

Zoning permission will be needed to allow for housing on the three acres rather than an institutional use such as a senior living facility.

Grasso also requested a requirement he hire a private engineering consultant on behalf of the city to monitor erosion and sediment issues with the 41-acre housing development be discontinued because most of the major work has been completed.

He pointed out a consultant for the state has been monitoring the site for environmental compliance, and should continue to do so until the project is completed.

At Hawks Ridge, Grasso expects to begin road improvements to Long Hill Cross Road and open the private clubhouse for residents soon.

P&Z Administrator Rick Schultz discussed the need for construction workers at the Brightview site to stop parking along Beard Sawmill Parkway, a narrow and curvy road.

"We need to control that," said Schultz, noting the spring will bring increased rain and mud. He said temporary fencing may be required.

In response, Grasso said an area for adequate off-street parking should be available for construction workers in the near future.