PAWCATUCK — A developer’s proposal to build a 40-unit housing complex containing 12 affordable units at 126 S. Broad St. in Pawcatuck will be the focus of an Economic Development Commission special meeting today at 6 p.m. at the Pawcatuck Fire Station, 33 Liberty St.

The meeting is open to the public.

Attorney Harry Heller of Heller, Heller & McCoy in Uncasville, which represents the developer, AJ Holdings LLC, of Baltic, Conn., will provide an overview of the project, tentatively named Stonington Village. AJ Holdings is owned by brothers Andrew Hastedt and Joseph Hastedt III, both of Baltic.

The 22-lot complex would built on a 25-acre site that fronts on South Broad Street across from Elizabeth Street. To the east, the site extends behind a two-story mixed-use building at 116 S. Broad, a two-story building at 118 S. Broad occupied by Connecticut Behavioral Health Associates, and a private home at 120 S. Broad St. To the west, the property stretches behind the long-closed Levant Cafe and Boutique Roastery at 148 S. Broad and stops at the edge of the Veterans of Foreign Wars property at 160 S. Broad.

The proposal includes building 19 duplexes and encompassing an existing two-family house into the complex. The project will also require the construction of a 1,000-foot private road that would terminate as a cul-de-sac. The complex would hook into municipal water and sewer infrastructure.

The project falls under the state’s 8-30-G affordable housing statute because only 6 percent of Stonington’s housing is classified as affordable, falling short of the state’s 10 percent requirement.

Under the statute, at least 30 percent of the units must be classified as affordable for at least 40 years. Half of the affordable units must be provided to those who earn 60 percent or below of the area median income and half to those who earn 80 percent or below of the median income. Stonington’s median income has been estimated at $75,000.

Towns that fall below the 10 percent mark are mandated to allow the construction of affordable housing developments. If Stonington wanted to reject the project, it would have to prove in court that the project would negatively affect residents’ health and safety.

AJ Holdings is proposing to subdivide the property to allow for future flexibility. If a lot were sold, it would remain within the affordability covenants for 40 years.

AJ Holdings is also proposing to convey 18 acres of wetlands on the site to the town as open space.

At today's meeting, the Economic Development Commission will consider writing a letter of support for the project.

On Jan. 28, the Conservation Commission approved the project with stipulations that sidewalks be built along S. Broad St. and that the border of the wetlands area be identified with signage.

On Feb. 5, the Planning and Zoning Commission continued the public hearing for the project, citing incomplete information.

The public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission will continue on March 19 at 7 p.m. at Mystic Middle School.

chewitt@thewesterlysun.com

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