The following story was compiled with the help of a press release issued by the First Selectwoman’s office.
At Monday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, the selectmen approved amended terms for the possible sale of .209 acres of town-owned land at 2 Pimpewaug Rd.. The land will be sold to Brightview Senior Living, a developer that has proposed building a 165-unit senior living facility at the corner of Pimpewaug Rd. and Rte. 7/Danbury Rd.
However, the BOS members decided to make the sale conditional, and attached an additional term to the proposal they approved, requiring Brightview Senior Living to pay the cost of installing a traffic light at Pimpewaug Rd. and Rte 7., subject to the approval of the traffic light by the Connecticut Department of Transportation.
The term was added based on comments from residents at a public hearing prior to the BOS meeting.
Vanderslice will now present the amended terms to Brightview Senior Living and, if the developer accepts the terms, the BOS will formally approve the purchase and sale agreement at its next meeting. The sale would be contingent on Brightview Senior Living obtaining all permits and approvals for its proposed project at 2 and 24 Pimpewaug Road.
Prior attempts to have the State install a traffic light at the intersection have been unsuccessful, but officials believe the state DOT might have a different point of view now. “The hope is that the State would be more open to the traffic light, if the State were no longer responsible for the funding,” said First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice.
During the public hearing, some Wilton residents spoke about their concerns about the proposed development. The BOS members acknowledged those residents’ concerns, but also expressed their own concerns about the possibility of the property being developed in a more intensified manner when the Town’s moratorium on a developer’s ability to use CGS 8-30-g expires at the end of this year.
It was noted that Brightview Senior Living had three options available to them: a) Seek to purchase the .209 acres from the town, b) Seek a zoning change, which would make the purchase unnecessary or c) Wait and submit an 8-30-g project in January, presumably with greater density. By selecting the first option, the Board of Selectmen were able to work with Brightview to obtain benefits within the purview of the Board of Selectmen, including the purchase price, annual payments over 20 years to fund, if necessary, additional emergency services, to preserve the historic home and to improve the safety of the intersection.
During their discussions, the Board of Selectmen reviewed demographic information on Wilton’s growing senior population, including the potential impact as baby boomers begin to age into that population. The members also reviewed inventory data for senior facilities, noting there did appear to be a strong need for non-income restricted independent living apartments.
Before proceeding with any project, Brightview Senior Living will be required to file two applications with Wilton’s Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission: 1) To seek amendments to the regulations and 2) To seek a special permit for the specific project. Many comments made to the BOS by the residents during the hearing regarding traffic study, density and architectural design are matters that will be addressed by P&Z as part of their work. Those meetings are open to the public and a public hearing will be held on both applications.
The amended proposed terms of sale include:
- A purchase price of $312,000
- $10,000 annual payment for 20 years with a CPI escalator
- Historic preservation of the Gregory House on 2 Pimpewaug through a 30-year deed restriction
- Funding of a traffic light at the intersection of Route 7 & Pimpewaug Rd.
- Funding of street light at the intersection of Route 7 & Pimpewaug Rd.
- Deed restriction limiting development by Brightview Senior living, as described and the manner of development.