GROTON — A pair of home construction projects, recently granted special permits by the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), will add five new units to the town’s stock of affordable housing.
In voting to approve the projects last Wednesday night, the ZBA allowed developer Donald Haberman to build at two separate locations in the Lost Lake neighborhood, an area dominated by small house lots.
According to Haberman attorney Robert Collins, changes to his client’s plans included the construction of a single building off Lost Lake Drive containing three living units instead of the four proposed at an earlier public hearing.
Of the three single-bedroom units in the structure, Collins said, two would be reserved as affordable and sold or rented to owners aged 55 or over.
Meanwhile, along Tavern Road, Haberman intends to build three single-family market-rate homes on as many parcels, while a fourth lot will see a three-unit structure reserved as 55 and over affordable housing.
The developer once proposed building four single-family homes at the Tavern Road site. The latest version, unveiled last week, was actually identical to one presented earlier but withdrawn after neighbors complained it would generate too much traffic.
In the plans presented last week, however, the developer indicated that access to the triplex on Tavern Road would be made from nearby Cedar Road, thus relieving much of the traffic pressure along Tavern Road.
Haberman returned before the board in November with a revised plan that replaced the triplex with a fourth single-family home. That scheme failed to win the support of board members, who balked at considering both the Tavern Road and Lost Lake Drive sites under one special permit.
At the time, board members interpreted the bylaw, upon which Collins had based his argument for the plan, as suggesting that all of a project’s building lots must be contiguous.
Board members were wary that approving both portions as a single plan would set a precedent that not all building projects need be contiguous.
As a result, Haberman returned last week with two separate special permit applications — one for the revised Tavern Road site and another for the latest version of the Lost Lake Drive location.
The board found it more comfortable dealing with two separate applications and voted unanimously at its Dec. 19 meeting to approve both.
With the approval of the ZBA in hand, Collins said his client’s next stop will be before the Planning Board, for a site plan review.