Litchfield’s Planning and Zoning Commission this week opened a public hearing on a plan by the Litchfield Housing Trust to build eight units of affordable housing on a 12.6-acre site on Torrington Road.
The development would provide affordable housing for people who work yet don’t earn enough to buy a home in town the traditional way. Three ownership houses would be built on one lot and five rental dwellings would be built on three lots.
The housing trust is seeking approval of five applications needed to carry out the project. They include a request for a new residential workforce housing zone, changing the property’s zoning classification, amending regulations for subdivisions, site plan approval and subdivision approval.
Presenting the applications for the housing trust is its attorney, Christopher Smith of Hartford. The public hearing began Monday and will continue May 21.
Several residents who live in Litchfield Housing Trust houses and apartments in town spoke in support of the proposed development on Torrington Road. Residents Thomas D. Williams and Betsy Glassman, who fought the proposal when it was before the Inland Wetlands Commission and appealed, unsuccessfully, the commission’s approval in Superior Court, also had their say before the commission.
Williams and Glassman continue to contend that the town’s transfer of the property to the housing trust in 2008 was not only improper but illegal. They also cited concerns about the effect the development would have on wetlands on the property.
Housing trust President F. Robert Petricone also commented during the hearing.
“We are proud of the families living in our homes,” Petricone said of the 47 housing units the trust has created since 1989. “They have served as policemen, judicial marshals and teachers in our school system. They work in our law and municipal offices, in commercial establishments, and in our medical facilities. They serve as elected officials, plow our highways and volunteer as firefighters.”