Wilton Review Board Criticizes 89 Unit Housing Plan


WILTON – A new 89-unit housing plan faces an uphill battle in the city as the Wilton Architectural Review Board raised major concerns about its size and other features at its most recent meeting.

“This is, if you will, my blank canvas to incorporate as many things as possible at the end of my career,” said Douglas Cutler, an architect and developer, to the board of directors on July 1, referring to the construction proposal Danbury Street, which is rendered to have lots of “green” elements.

However, as Chairman Robert Sanders repeated in the preliminary meeting, he asks questions about the size of the project, the composition of the choice of materials, and concerns about density. Due to the pre-application status, the developer must consider the advice of the board as well as comments from a future review of the planning and zoning committee before officially submitting the project.

As currently stated, the residential structure would be 89 units in one parking lot and comprise 15 studio apartment units, 47 one bedroom apartment units and 27 two bedroom apartment units. Cutler presented the project as a “four- and five-story building,” but members rejected that classification when they checked the height of what they called the “podium building,” as they called it.

“According to the building code, it says four stories, but actually it’s a five story building on a podium, and it has six stories in the background,” said board member Sam Gardner. “We see it as a five- and six-story building.”

Sanders said the building was “wildly taller than anything” in town.

Part of Cutler’s rationale for the building’s height, along with its density, was the proposed inclusion of solar panels on the roof – one of the greener aspects of the building.

Cutler, a Wilton resident of 30+ and owner of several properties, claimed that the height of the solar panels must exceed the tree line surrounding the building for the solar panels to be most effective. The board did not seem to agree with the long-time developer’s assessment.

Sanders also expressed his displeasure with the choice of material as it is currently being rendered.

“There (is) no relationship between the materials on the plinth and the materials above,” said the Chairman, adding that the materials at different levels seem to change at random, “and not to give the building a sense of” unity or Attractiveness ”. ”

He added that there are many components of the project that will continue to draw the wrath of the board unless changed.

Cutler, who pointed out having millennial renters in areas with a higher density of younger populations like Greenwich Village, said he had seen and read survey data suggesting that the younger generation preferred modern developments.

Sanders agreed, but said that if the buildings were to be modern they should “better be good buildings” and that “Junk Modern is still modern”.

Board member Laura Perese said the intent of the project was on the right track, stating that “this is a wonderful opportunity to really raise the quality level of the proposed building” to celebrate all the positive aspects, including the “green” elements and affordability in accordance with Conecticut’s Affordable Housing Act.

The current proposal calls for 15 percent of housing to be affordable for those earning no more than 80 percent of the region’s median income, and 15 percent of housing affordable for those with 60 percent of the region’s median income.


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