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33-Unit Apartment Building in the Pipeline

A glimpse at plans for a 33-unit apartment complex in Fairfield, Conn. Credit: Gary Jeanfaivre
A glimpse at plans for a 33-unit apartment complex in Fairfield, Conn. Credit: Gary Jeanfaivre
With a green light from Fairfield's Conservation Commission, a proposal to build a 33-unit apartment building in the Kings Highway area now heads to the Town Plan and Zoning Commission.

The Conservation Commission signed off on the project — brought forth by Berwick Fairchild Associates LLC — on Feb. 6. Plans call for the demolition of existing residential structures and the construction of a new, 33-unit apartment building in their place.

The property is located off Kings Highway East, on Berwick Ave. and Fairchild Ave, and is across the street from where a 54-unit apartment building is currently being constructed.

The area is located in the Rooster River Floodway, and has been prone to flooding in the past, according to the project's file at the Conservation Department.

In order to move forward with its plans, Berwick Fairchild Associates will have to secure TPZ approval of an application for zone change, a zoning regulation amendment, a special permit, and a coastal site plan review.

The application is on the TPZ Commission's agenda for March 11. The applicant is being represented by attorney Brian LeClerc.
Igor February 19, 2014 at 07:55 AM
That's nice, Nothing like a housing project coming to your local neighborhood.
Bob MacGuffie February 19, 2014 at 08:07 AM
All part of the Liberal Regionalization scheme. This part is bringing the cities to the suburbs. The ultimate goal of it all is to transfer taxes from the suburbs to pay for the entitlements in the cities. Collectivist incrementalism at its finest.
Ajack February 19, 2014 at 08:34 AM
Let me see, 33 housing units, two to three kids per unit, 66 to 99 more kids for the town to educate. Time to raise taxes and time to build more schools. If this goes through , the real estate tax on the building should be 33 times the average for a one family house in this town. Maybe $245,000.00 to $300,000.00 a year to help cover the costs for the additional services that these people will demand. . See where we are going here folks? The taxes for this building , I guarantee , will be around half of the cost to support the families in these units. Who wins?......THE DEVELOPER ! For every unit of housing created like this, each unit should be accessed as if they are a separate housing unit. If not, I guarantee that there will suddenly be a revenue shortfall.....caused by this P & Z decision. I wonder who may be benefiting from this ...really! Who amongst them is getting something else. Not the tax payers.
Ajack February 19, 2014 at 08:38 AM
Taxes on that 54 unit building should be in the neighborhood of around $500,000.00 a year minimum.Maybe even more. This is why anyone with half a brain , who lives in this town, who can, should be considering moving out of Fairfield as soon as they can. Real estate people, you too have blood on your hands here. The town is desperate for revenue folks, and is selling us short.
mark February 19, 2014 at 11:27 AM
who are the investers in this property
Chuck E. Arla February 19, 2014 at 11:58 AM
33 units here and 54 right across the street??? That's 87 new housing units. Wow, who knew Fairfield Metro, all the For Lease signs and abandoned buildings were such an attraction :(
Chuck E. Arla February 19, 2014 at 12:02 PM
Mr. Jeanfaivre: It is critical that you provide us with what the mix of studio, 1BR and 2BR units are in this development as well as the 54'er across the street. Only then can we readers get a better grip on the likely school/services impact.
Gary Jeanfaivre (Editor) February 19, 2014 at 02:33 PM
Hi, Chuck: great question. I'll endeavor to get that answer and report back here asap. (you can call me Gary).
R.G.B February 19, 2014 at 08:43 PM
Considering the flooding issue with FEMA & the increasing flood insurance premiums for flood prone areas even if these complexes are in compliance with FEMA rules at this point will it be safe to say the owner will be able to afford future premium increases. If not, these buildings may very well become empty abandon buildings / lots, like some on Kings Highway. We really have to consider the future when deciding whether to let this idea move forward. I realize Fairfield is in need of low income housing although that has not been mentioned here but FEMA is a big factor regarding this decision. Personally I think both buildings are a bad idea.
brian kelly February 20, 2014 at 12:22 AM
its only a matter of time until the homeowners in southport and greenfield hill secede from the town of fairfield. they are very wealthy, highly educated people who know they are being raped by the monkeys who run this town...
brian kelly February 20, 2014 at 12:27 AM
every day the line between the town of fairfield and the city of bridgeport become more and more blurred...
Bob MacGuffie February 20, 2014 at 01:53 PM
MARK YOUR CALENDARS: There is an important Affordable Housing Committee (AHC) meeting on March 12th where we can attend and voice our opposition directly to these multi-unit developers and town officials. Following are details: Fairfield Old Town Hall 7pm Wednesday, March 12th Please alert all who would be interested. We can push this back now but only if we show up and speak up. Please be there in three weeks.
Matt Hutzelmann February 20, 2014 at 07:19 PM
Ajack, you don't even know what the makeup of the residents of these units will be. How do you know the impact upon town services? If it's young professionals, then I would guess they bring in more than they cost.
Matt Hutzelmann February 20, 2014 at 07:50 PM
Brian, where are the Southporters gonna go? Westport doesn't want them. Having to build K-12 schools won't be cheap. Remember, Ye Yacht, Southport beach... belong to the citizens of Fairfield, not the residents of Southport. And you make it sound like the rest of us in Fairfield are podunk hicks.
brian kelly February 20, 2014 at 10:31 PM
i know that this is completely off topic. but does anyone know what is going on with the old post office on the post road? they were supposed to build a plan b burger bar at that location. but it appears that they halted construction on that project???
Jim Eastwood February 21, 2014 at 06:30 AM
Typical FAIR??? Field attitude . Why does any one care for it's the East Side of Town. Hey I guess you would rather have vacant lots and Old two and three family home rather than new modern housing and the numerous vehicles which pay much, much more in Taxes . As far as Flood planes and FEMA just look at the Beach and that "Penfield" Fiasco. Again Fair???? Field seems to think it is above it's neighbors---Remember that EVERONE DOES NOT LIVE IN A 3500 sq foot Single family house on 1/2 acre of land !!!!!!
Kathy Mastronardi February 21, 2014 at 07:01 AM
I hope they're handicap accessible and AFFORDABLE. Big problem in Fairfield. It would be nice to take into consideration some people with disabilities who are on a fixed income. The rents in Fairfield are ridiculously high and try to get into Senior housing. Impossible!
Matt Hutzelmann February 21, 2014 at 08:45 AM
Jim, you got that right. These are new apartment buildings. Alot better than empty dirt lots. I doubt that single families will be lining up for one bedroom apartments. And again, to me, a growing town is much better than a dying town.
Joe Mancini February 21, 2014 at 09:48 AM
Brian Kelly-There were some issues on Plan B but construction will begin again shortly if not already.
mark February 21, 2014 at 01:04 PM
this is great with all this new development in Fairfield we should begin to see our taxes decrease
R.G.B February 22, 2014 at 10:57 PM
Been in the real estate business for a long time Mark taxes never decrease. Our only chance is to see they don't increase. There is no doubt in my mind that these new apartment buildings will bring more children to educate in our school system which will require an more tax dollars then the buildings will generate. Fairfield used to be a quaint little suburb of Bridgeport, soon it be will be considered a city if the planning and zoning dept. doesn't restrict certain developments with the future in mind. I moved to Fairfield after a hard and long struggle and sacrifice to get out of the city. I will be there for the public meetings and urge everyone that cares about the future of Fairfield to go as well.
Jim Eastwood February 23, 2014 at 02:54 AM
N. M. I. B. Y. shows itself again !!!! As a Real Estate business person you know D##### Well NO ONE CARES about the working class Nor That Section of Town !!!!! The world doesn't live in 3500 sq. foot houses on 1 acre of land. As for providing Town Services just Look at the TWO Colleges and the Beach !!!!!!! Bring back INDUSTRY !!!! Remember that Quaint Suburb we used to be. I OH Protect our Housing Values and Shield our Kids from the Real world...Oh why we are at it-----You and your Industry have created a situation were our kids can't move back in to this TOWN---Maybe. just maybe this and other Housing options might over come that !!!!!! NOT IN MY BACK YARD !!! for the WORKING class is Alive and Well in FAIR??? Field !!!!!!!
Joseph Conlin March 01, 2014 at 06:40 PM
I have lived in that neighborhood for three decades. I raised two sons in that neighborhood. I will probably die in that neighborhood. In fact, I live a few hundred feet from the 54-unit affordable housing project that will open at the end of Fairchild Avenue this spring. Now another developer wants to add a 66-bedrooms affordable housing complex across the street. In order to build the new complex, the developer needs a waiver. The developer wants 66 bedrooms on less than half an acre—a number four times greater than the 54-unit. So, within a short period of time, the number of people within a few hundred few of my home will increase by at least 120. The density will more than double the population and traffic density on the street that was too narrow before either complex was built and that has a dangerous outlet onto Kings Highway. The town needs affordable housing, and it's in my backyard. Individuals also have the right to build as the zoning allows. Developers, though, want zoning to suit their needs, not those of the community. The operator of the 54-unit got his after the Zoning Board foolishly killed the project entirely rather than denying him a waiver on parking spaces. Now Berwick Fairchild and Associates wants even more waivers. So should the town allow Berwick Fairchild and Associates to develop affordable housing on less than half an acre? Yes. Should the number of bedrooms be four times greater than the complex across the street? No. By the way, I don't live in some suburban ghetto, as implied by some. My neighborhood has been a thriving section of Fairfield for more than a century. It's a section of town that contributes more in tax revenue per acre that most areas of town. This is the home of the town's working class. They are proud of their families. They are proud of the lives that they have built. They are proud of their small homes on their small lots. And I am proud to call them my neighbors.
Creeky March 02, 2014 at 09:36 AM
The way the affordable hosing laws are written in Connecticut, it's all but impossible to stop the permit. While I share.concerns that this will be a significant net loss for the town, revenue vs school burden, I don't think it can be stopped. I'd encourage all whom wish to stop it take another approach then planned. Going to a town meeting and complaining will get you nothing, even if the government agrees. You need to give the mammy it ion--evidence that zoning, flood and parking issues abound. With affordable housing included, the law flips, and rather than the onus being in the developer to disprove every complaint, the town must prove every complaint or grant the permit. This building is going to get built. Find a good argument that will cost the developer to fight and negotiate to shrink it's size as a compromise. It's your only hope.
Creeky March 02, 2014 at 09:37 AM
Wow, spell check! Ammunition, not mammy it ion!
Gary Jeanfaivre (Editor) March 06, 2014 at 11:53 AM
According to the plans, 10 of the units would be deed restricted as "affordable" under state income guidelines, for 40 years. The apartments would have two bedrooms each.

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