Cost of Living on Jelliff Mill Too High for 'Affordable' Housing Buyers

We should steward sensible affordable housing projects, not let developers masquerade high cost housing at the expense of unwitting families.

To the Editor,

I am concerned with the proposed zoning change to allow Gardiner and Larson Homes to build a 16 unit condominium development on the Noroton River at Jelliff Mill Rd. One third of these units will be deemed "affordable housing." This development cannot sustain housing that is affordable as there are so many costs incurred by living on this river. As members of the Noroton River Association, we appreciate the costs of living on the Noroton River, known as Jelliff Mill Pond.

The Jelliff Mill Dam needs to be repaired (estimates are between about $350,00 and $500,00) before construction can begin, but also will need constant vigilance during the years ahead to maintain its good repair. This cost of dam maintenance will be passed to all of the residents of the condominiums including the affordable units. These costs could potentially be astronomical for a resident to include in their family budget.

The pond itself is in need of dredging and the Noroton River Association members, would spread the costs among those on the pond, again driving up living costs of all condominium residents.

The pond is treated with chemicals yearly by the pond owners, further elevating the fees incurred by the new condominium residents, affordable units included.

The cost incurred by the residents for flood insurance due to the proximity of the Noroton River on the foundational wall of the proposed unit, would necessarily raise the yearly fees to a prohibitive level for those on a fixed income who qualified for affordable housing.

In conclusion, the extra costs incurred by the affordable units including dam maintenance and repair, pond dredging, pond treatment, and required flood insurance make this development completely unsuitable for affordable housing. It is disingenuous to suggest that this would be sensible and fair-minded to lead potential “affordable” housing buyers to this development and subject them to these financial demands. We should steward sensible affordable housing projects, not let developers masquerade high cost housing at the expense of unwitting families.

Thank you,
Holley Wright

Elizabeth March 23, 2012 at 06:08 AM
Sorry people, but our police, teachers, etc. should have access to affordable housing in New Canaan. Furthermore to all of you Jeliff Mill snobs, you don't exactly live in the most desirable location in town.
joe March 23, 2012 at 11:52 AM
joe March 23, 2012 at 11:56 AM
it's comical.folks prevent a family from building a restaurant.then create bogus reasons why a federal affordable housing project shouldn't be built.Fed laws trump state and local.welcome to affordable housing.it's coming. maybe the restaurant(like a silver mine) wouldn't have been so bad after all.
J Bauer March 23, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Do you know how the process will work for the folks that win the affordable units? Lets just say that the odds are small that any NC teacher/fireman gets one. Think about this - federal and state law dicates that LOCAL building & development codes (written by the people who know the land and infrastructure best) are irrelevant! The affordable housing statutes are more often than not manipulated by developers hellbent on extracting large profits where there should be none under normal circumstances. This is not so much an issue of affordable housing, as it is an issue with federal and state interference in local matters. How intrusive do you want the government to be? How much say over your day-to-day life do you want Uncle Sam to have? We live in a free market and a free society... life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is guaranteed in our founding documents but nowhere does it say we are entitled to affordable housing, affirmative action, 'progressive' taxation, farm subsidies or any of the other nonsense that infringes on our freedoms. As for affordable housing - of course there needs to be housing at all different price points, & the market and sound business practices should dictate such decisions as to when where and how large to build such housing. Affordable Housing statutes were lobbied for by private developers as a way to skirt the rules that normally limit their activities... don't be a fool and buy into the gov't party line about it.
Jon S. March 23, 2012 at 02:57 PM
1) No one is arguing against "affordable housing," the argument is more that this would be a very bad and inefficient way to achieve it. 2) You call people who live near this proposed development "snobs" but then look down your nose at them yourself, claiming they live in a bad part of town. 3) Why do you think "our police, teachers, etc." should live in a not desirable location, with no guest parking, no walking access to town, built-in septic issues, and a sure cost burden for dam upkeep and flood insurance? If you honestly cared about "our police, teachers, etc.," you'd agree that "affordable" townhouses should be located in a desirable place that makes sense, e.g., IN TOWN, connected to town water. 4) You don't have to live near Jelliff Mill to understand that this is a bad proposal for our town, masquerading as a solution to a problem that until this year, the Larsons could not have cared less about.


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