OLD LYME — The owner of a Shore Road property is applying under the state’s 8-30g affordable housing statute to permit multiple existing apartments on the parcel where currently only one is allowed by town zoning regulations. The application will be heard on Monday’s Zoning Commission agenda.
There are currently four apartments distributed among three buildings on the 0.61-acre property at 258-260 Shore Road, at the corner of Cross Lane. The proposed change would deed-restrict two of the four units as affordable, resulting in the addition of two units to the town’s affordable housing total without building any new structures.
“The goal is to allow what’s there now to continue,” Eric Knapp, land use coordinator and zoning enforcement officer, told CT Examiner on Thursday.
Towns with less than 10 percent state-designated affordable housing are subject to the 8-30g statute. Old Lyme has 83 affordable units, which makes up just 1.7 percent of the town’s total housing, according to its May 2022 Affordable Housing Plan.
Regarding the property on Shore Road, Knapp said neighbors’ complaints triggered his issuing of a cease and desist order to the owners in April.
“Neighbors were complaining not so much that the families living there, but the conditions that they were staying in were not great,” he said.
In June, the property owner, 258-260 Shore Rd LLC, registered to Ashlynn and Thomas Larson of Old Lyme, appealed Knapp’s cease and desist order to the Zoning Board of Appeals and asked for several continuances of the public hearing.
Later, at the Zoning Board’s Sept. 21 meeting, the owners’ attorney requested enough time to file an affordable housing application to be reviewed by the Zoning Commission, coming up on Nov. 13.
As a condition of approval, Knapp said he will ask building officials to inspect the apartments on the property.
According to the proposal’s affordability plan, at least 30 percent — or two of the four units — will be deed-restricted for 40 years. One unit will be designated for a household that earns 60 percent or less of the area median income and the other for a household that earns 80 percent or less.
Knapp said the affordable units could be any two of the four apartments and that the designated units could be reassigned each year.