The Planning & Zoning Commission decided to postpone a vote approving proposed revisions to Neighborhood Commerical Zone regulations after a number of residents shared concerns at Monday's meeting.
A common worry for many was that under the proposed zoning regulation changes, multi-family housing developments would be allowed in the "Community Commercial Zone," which consists of the current Neighborhood Commercial Zone along Route 74 and Route 30.
Property owners asked about the impact of family housing on the town's taxes, particularly the cost of educating children who might move into the multi-family dwellings.
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Stewart Appraisal Service owner and Tolland resident Bob Stewart mentioned during the public hearing that when he studied the impact of children in apartment complexes, there were lower numbers of school-age children in the buildings than many expected.
"The apartment complexes generate more tax dollars than the kids in them cost, in general," he said.
Commission member Bill Eccles also explained that, even if every acre of the eligible parcels were developed to the maximum density (which would not meet open space and other requirements), no more than 200 people could live in the dwellings. He estimated that around 80-100 people would be a more likely number, if a development were approved and constructed.
Farmer said that only four parcels in the area are large enough to qualify for multi-family developments. Chair Marilee Beebe said that property owner Richard Lee has expressed an interest for a number of years in perhaps developing multi-family dwellings, although no application has been made.
Town Planner Linda Farmer said that multi-family developments have been included in the regulation revisions because at the latest rewrite of the town's Plan of Conservation and Development, a majority of Tolland residents said that they wanted more affordable and diverse housing, which could draw in younger residents and could also provide more options for those who wish to "retire in one place."
"This is addressing a need that's been identified in the community," Farmer said.
The development office invited property owners to the public hearing to discuss the proposed changes.
Adjustments are also being made to the NCZ regulations in the proposed technology zone, as well as the small NCZ near .
The regulations can be seen in the P&ZC agenda, and a summary of the revisions can be read on .
The Plan of Conservation and Development is posted on the town's website.