Thursday, May 07, 2009

Town staff's Executive Summary on Richmond Glen / Serenity Ranch

To: Michael A. Milone, Tovm Manager
From: Planning Staff
Re: Richmond Glen Due Process
Date: April 28, 2009

At your request, staff hereby provides relevant information regarding the Richmond Glen Age Restricted Planned Residential Development.

Richmond Glen is a 40 unit ARPRD, one of seven such projects that \viJl provide a total of243 such units when Richmond Glen is completed. This is nearly 2.4 percent of the approximate
(???) total dwelling units in Cheshire. All of the units within Richmond Glen are detached single-family with frontage and access from a private road to be maintained by a homeowners association.

During the approval process, the Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed market information regarding age restricted developments including a buyer profile, a market study, and a value impact study. Copies of the executive summaries are attached.

The Commission approved Richmond Glen on June 27,2005. This project includes the emergency access drive that is being considered by the Council. This access drive is proposed to connect to Buckland Drive through a dedicated street right-of-way that was provided for in the Town Farms Estate resubdivision located northerly of the Richmond Glen project. Approvals• from the Planning and Zoning Commission followed approval from the Cheshire Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission for various activities including the extension of the emergency access drive across an adjacent wetland area.

The original Town Farm Estates Subdivision which created Buckland Drive was approved December 16, 1987. That approval included the extension of Buckland Drive onto the adjacent (soon to be Richmond Glen) property with the construction of a temporary cul-de-sac that was never built. Apparently the developers of Town Farm Estates \vere unable to obtain rights to build the original Buckland Drive cuI-de-sac onto that property. Therefore. they resubdivided in 1990 to construct a temporary cuI-de-sac at the end of Buckland Drive \\'ith a right-of-way for future road extension. Attached is the "Resubdivision Plan for Lots 28. 29 & CuI-De-Sac of Town Farm Estates, Buckland Place", approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission on July 7, 1990 depicting that 50' right-of-way for future road extension onto the adjacent property.

These rights-of-way are required by Section 5.7 of the Cheshire Subdivision Regulations (copy attached) to prohibit the reservation of strips of land by property owners in order to deny or control access from abutting properties or streets. They are also required to be shown on subdivision maps for the purpose of alerting buyers of a possibility that their road could be extended. The Richmond Glen property could have been a conventional subdivision and the road extension through Buckland Drive would be permitted as a matter of right.

Section 5.7 is necessary for the continuation of public streets and to achieve redundancy in the town's utilities including the extension of 'water and sewer lines ordinarily located within the road rights-of-way for the protection of public health and safety.

The approved Richmond Glen Emergency Access Plan is attached and shows a paved access way gated at both ends and that will open to Buckland Drive only in the event of an emergency. The Commission approved this development with stipulations (attached) that incorporated comments from the Police and Fire Departments.

These require that the emergency access road should be paved a minimum of20 feet in width and that an automatic release system for any closure on the access be approved by both Fire and Police Departments. To compare, the required pavement width for a conventional through street is 30 feet. The approval also stipulates that the emergency access road must be maintained year¬round including snow and ice removal, and that any security access gate should allow for safe pedestrian access. All maintenance will also be the responsibility of the homeowners association.

The Water Pollution Control Authority approved the final design and capacity for Richmond Glen on September 24,2008 (copy attached). This approval followed an amendment to the Conservation and Development Policies Plan/or Connecticut, 2005-2010 made by the Continuing Committee on State Planning and Development to accommodate the extension of public sanitary sewer to the Richmond Glen property.

At this time, we believe that no further regulatory issues remain other than Council's review of the request for access to Buckland Drive across the dedicated street right-of-way.

There could be typos in here as this file was first converted from a hard copy to a soft copy. But I trust you'll get the idea. And FWIW, I think Cheshire has about 9,000 homes.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

So basically, it has already been approved and whether we like it or not, it will go through.
This town is amazing...the developers, many of whom grew up in this town and remeber it as rural, are now running the town and making it an overcrowded, high taxed town.

Welcome to Cheshire....we "used to be" the bedding capitol of the we are replacing those businesses with overpriced homes and condos.

Robert DeVylder Jr. said...

"Welcome to Cheshire....we "used to be" the bedding capitol of the we are replacing those businesses with overpriced homes and condos."

I dont recall any bedding plant farmers going out of business lately. I have noticed that most of them have expanded.

Anonymous said...

"I dont recall any bedding plant farmers going out of business lately. I have noticed that most of them have expanded."Keep allowing these developers to do what they are doing and you may see that happen very soon, they come in with a boat load of cash and it is hard to turn down.....Our P & Z Committee seems to care more about allowing developers to take away our land for cheaply made, overpriced housing.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be some storm clouds on the horizon. Where is the north end shopping center and high density housing we were promised along with its 2 million in annual tax revenue?

Where is the vibrant residential real estate market all our local real estate sales people continue to hype?

Where is the growth in school age children living in town?

Is Richmond Glen just one recent development too many?

What bank would loans millions to finance a speculative residential development in central Connecticut today?

Anonymous said...

Northend shopping center is still being developed. They dont appear overnight.

Anonymous said...

The farmers will not leave unless they want to.

Anonymous said...

"Northend shopping center is still being developed. They dont appear overnight."

You just gotta admit well over a year and nothing means at least well over 2 years, 3 years and who knows, maybe this proposed new one will take as long as the last one did too, i.e. never.

State real estate development has seen a change in trajectory even if town government hasn't caught on.

Anonymous said...

I drove down Rt 5 in Wallingford this evening. Lots of empty stores and car dealers. Linens & Things has been vacant for months and no tenant is in sight.

Retail development across the country is dead right now. The North End is going to be the Erricchetti deal; updated by 25 years

Anonymous said...

Tim asked for a cost benefits study on this high density development and all he got from Fazzone was a bunch of bull. Fazzone compared this development to Stonegate which has individual units in the $550,000 range.

Brodach's supposed luxury condos at Rivercrest, next to where W/S hopes to build something, sold for $330,000 when the market was really good. He still has 3 units there for sale, priced from 315 to 335,000, and they have been on the market for some time. Brodach has other houses in other towns ranging from 314 to 335,000. It just doesn't seem that Brodach builds developments in the $550,000range and if he did, could he sell them for the asking price?

Maybe the units are more than likely priced in the $250 to $275,000.

In the first quarter of this year house prices fell 18%. Mr Brodach and Mr Fazzone why can't you tell us what the houses will really be priced at.

If approved, builder will make a bundle at taxpayer expense. axpayers will be subsidizing this and is

Anonymous said...

What is this Town thinking? Are they reading the papers and watching the news?
Bedding farmers are making it because they bought the land years ago and pay little taxes(Farm land). I don't get this because it's a business and not the original intent of farm land (for taxable purposes) but, thank god we have them because they are keeping the land open and not developed.

Anonymous said...

Give me a break. How can anyone believe what comes out of this department, run by Voelker and the TM, both of whom along with Hall and the town engineer sat on the request for a conservation change and did nothing to advise Town Council members or the P&Z Commission. As a result of this under the table action, this property was removed from the conservation list.

Robert DeVylder Jr. said...

8:51 - welcome to town. As a new resident, I would like to give you a brief tutorial on Cheshire farming. Almost all farms are second or third generation. That means these farms are 25-100+ years old. Honestly, I don't think any of them thought of buying land in 1900 for the sole purpose of "flipping it" 110 years later.

You refer to these properties as businesses. Guess what, THEY ARE!!! All farms are businesses regardless if the are in central Connecticut or central Nebraska. They get tax breaks because they grow products that can sustain life. They get tax breaks for keeping land open.

Anonymous said...

Tim White is an idiot

Anonymous said...

Ironic that the bedding capitol of the state now boasts being the capitol of "business done in bed". A few individuals in bed with a few other individuals and these things get sent on through.

Robert DeVylder Jr. said...

Cheshire is the "Bedding Plant" capital of CT, not "Bedding"