Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A request for vetting the Richmond Glen / Serenity Ranch easement request

In an attempt to ensure a thoughtful discussion on the easement request for the Richmond Glen / Serenity Ranch age-restricted housing proposal, I sent the following to the Council Chairman with a "cc" to the Budget Committee Chairman:

Hi Matt,

With regard to the Richmond Glen / Serenity Ranch easement, will this be going directly to the Council? I have a number of questions about it. So I think it would be worthwhile to vet it through a committee, perhaps the Budget Committee?

You may recall that at the last Council meeting I asked what benefit would accrue to the Town if the easement were granted. The response was that the development would be a tax benefit to the Town. Considering that, it seems the Budget Committee would be appropriate.

Thanks for your consideration.


My email request is intended to address a number of questions I mentioned last week in this post. And another question crossed my mind since then. I touched on it in my fiscal impact analysis of the proposed development:

Will this development impact the values of the other age-restricted developments in Cheshire?

With 8,000 or so houses, I'm guessing that 17 more colonials* on this property would have relatively little impact on the price of other houses. But with 200 or so age restricted units being increased by 20%, I'm guessing it may significantly impact the value of those units.

I hope the Council and voters will have ample opportunity to discuss all the questions / concerns that exist. I see no reason to pull a Bush Bailout with this and rush it through without thoughtful consideration.

Tim White

* PZC minutes from 2005 repeatedly use housing numbers from 15 to 20 units, if colonials are built. The minutes also mention that such numbers are usually reduced as projects move forward and the actual land (not a map) is reviewed for suitability.


Anonymous said...

The statement "With 8,000 or so houses, I'm guessing that 17 more colonials* on this property would have relatively little impact on the price of other houses. " seems to miss out on current events.

Houses in Cheshire do not appear to be selling anymore. One just needs to look at the size of the weekly real estate transaction log in the Herald. Ability to sell a current home in town has greatly diminished as the economy has tumbled.

Maybe it's because right now no one is looking to move here.

In this current market construction of even more new spec homes will not in any way assist those in town who want to or must sell their homes. Additional spec housing will only serve to hurt current residents wishing to sell. In one context if an existing house doesn't sell its value has been greatly reduced.

tim white said...

I agree. Housing is already over built across America. I wrote the post too fast. It absolutely would have an impact on the price of other houses in this already depressed market.

It's just that relative to other age restricted housing, I'm guessing it would have less of an impact.

But real estate's not my thing. I'm just trying to ensure the Council has an actual discussion about this... allowing others to come forward and share their thoughts.

tim white said...

Would almost certainly impact the value of houses on Buckland Drive.

Anonymous said...

I'm just amazed that a developer has the gall to draft an easement document to give them the right away across town land, and on top of that to set a price of $10. So, the council without any input is to simply vote to approve it?

Let's put the shoe on the other foot. Say, the town wanted an easement across a developers land, with no benefit to the developer, what are the chances they would grant the easement for $10. I'm sure they wouldn't. They would either fight it or get a realtor to assess the value of the land, and that realtor would probably be very friendly to the developer.
With this thought in mind, why is the town council deliberating this document without getting an independent appraisal of the value of the easement? This is the cart before the horse approach and to pay $10 is an insult to the intelligence of the town council.

Another point regarding this development is the question of a stream on the property. As we know, property owners like to have
nice lawns and a stream is an attraction. To maintain a a nice lawn, requires, by today's standards, herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers, all of which are usually over applied and run into the stream and end up in Long Island Sound to contribute to dead zones. To take advantage of the stream, people, home owners, will encroach on the stream and lessen it's value to wildlife. as

Anonymous said...

Aren't you forgetting the W/S said that Cheshire's empty nesters are just waiting to flock to the 140 units to be built next to the W/S stip mall.

Also, there is the age restricted development that has been approved for the corner of Mountain Rd and West Main.