Wilton’s Planning and Zoning Department has received pre-application documents from a developer interested in pursuing a multi-family housing development at 19 Cannon Rd., along with a request for an informal, pre-application review by the Architectural Review Board.
The project is the latest example of developers’ growing interest in Wilton as a location to provide higher-density, transit-oriented, multi-family housing.
The pre-application documents were sent to Town officials by a representative of Baywing, LLC, owned by Robert Andrews, on Nov. 19.
The 2.16-acre property is located in the heart of Cannondale, directly across the street from the Cannondale train station.
The application would invoke Connecticut General Statute 8-30g, the affordable housing statute. The developer has said that 30% of the units would be deemed affordable housing, for tenants earning less than 80% of the area median income.
The applicant asserts that the proposal will meet Wilton’s housing goals as outlined in the Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD).
“With limited sites that are appropriate for multifamily residential development in the proximity to public transportation, the redevelopment of the property for this purpose will help to achieve the Town’s housing and economic development goals,” according to the pre-application documents.
The documents also reveal the “existing residential structure” would be removed. A fascinating history of the property dating back to the 1800’s — with owners in the Dudley, Cannon and Ambler families, among others — can be found on the Wilton Historical Society website, including documentation from the state of Connecticut’s Historic Resources Inventory — Buildings and Structures.
In the existing home’s place, the developer envisions a new, 87,938 square-foot building, with a mix of 38 one-bedroom units and 32 two-bedroom units.
Facing Cannon Rd., the building’s front facade would be stepped back with terraces.
The site plan shows 92 parking spaces would be available in a parking lot on the eastern side of the property, along the train tracks. There would also be outdoor features that include green space, picnic tables, bike rack, seating areas and a playground.
Roughly 2,600 square feet would be allocated for amenities and common spaces. Detailed floor plans and various elevations can be found in documents posted on the Town website.
The building would have municipal water supply and sewer.
Focus on Architecture, Not Zoning
In an unusual move, the applicant requested the pre-application review by Wilton’s Architectural Review Board (ARB), and not the Planning and Zoning Commission.
As an 8-30g application, the developer is not subject to many of the Town’s zoning regulations. Still, previous 8-30g applicants have typically requested a pre-application review with P&Z before submitting a formal application. Such a review allows an informal discussion between Town officials and the applicant with the goal of improving an application’s likelihood of success.
The request for the ARB review may also signal the developer’s recognition of the property’s historic significance and its close proximity to the historic Cannondale Village and other historic buildings in the area, including the train station and Cannon Grange.
It is important to distinguish between Cannondale Village — the enclave of shops and restaurants where the Cannondale schoolhouse is (now Baldanza restaurant) — and the “Village District” zoning designation used by the Town of Wilton.
As described on the Town website, Wilton’s Village Districts include Wilton Center and the commercially-zoned sections of Cannondale, which are “are neighborhoods of distinctive character, unifying architectural interest, and/or historic value.”
The ARB also functions as the Village District Design Advisory Committee, serving in an advisory capacity to P&Z when it comes to projects in such districts.
While 19 Cannon Rd. does not fall within either Cannondale Village or the Village District, it is immediately adjacent to or across from those areas.
The next ARB meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 2, at 5:00 p.m. An agenda for the meeting has not yet been posted.