Credit: Google Map Data, 2020.

224-Unit Housing Development Considered for Hatchetts Hill Road in Old Lyme

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OLD LYME —  At its Sept. 21 meeting, local resident Mark Diebolt will discuss plans with the Affordable Housing Committee to build a 224-unit, 11-building residential complex at 49 Hatchetts Hill Road, a 20.6-acre site just south of I-95 near exit 71. The complex is expected to include 30 percent affordable housing under state statute 8-30g.

Vice-chair Karen Winters told committee members at an Aug. 31 meeting that Diebolt was interested in speaking with the committee, and with other town commissions, about the project. 

Committee member Harold Thompson said that he had already spoken with Diebolt about the need for infrastructure on the site. 

“What they were looking at was hooking up to East Lyme for water and sewer, and so that would make it more feasible, but I cautioned him that he really has to have that secured before they even start to do anything,” said Thompson. 

Whether the future sewer line from the beach communities will have the capacity for the units on Hatchetts Hill Road remains a question, said Thompson. 

“The Planning Commission has been looking at the installation of sewers on the shoreline communities and it’s been very specific about how much effluent is going to be going to East Lyme and New London. So if there are restrictions on piping capacity, pumping capacity, he has to make sure all that stuff is going to work. If he can’t get water and sewer I’m not sure this project really has a chance,” said Thompson. “When I spoke to Mark, he said it would be based on Saybrook Station, the same kind of configuration. The location is good if you have access.”

The parcel had already been approved by special exception for a multi-family housing development on Aug. 8, 2005 by town’s Zoning Commission. That project, for 55-and-older residents, included 16 2-bedroom units in eight buildings of two units each.

Chair Mike Fogliano said he was comfortable with the committee listening to Diebolt, but cautioned members against offering advice, support or suggestions on how to move through the process of obtaining an approved development plan. 

“I would see this for us as almost a case study for what a project of this scale and nature would look like and I think it would be good information,” he said. “But my first thought is I have no problem with listening, but I am very reluctant, especially with where we are in our deliberations — even though we have folks on committee who are on other boards and commissions —  it’s not our place to do that.”

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