The name is a gentle and yet wonderful name "Rolling Meadows" sounds like the kind of place to retire to or the place where Grandma and Grandpa may retire to. However, there is more to this construction boondoggle than meets the eye. (besides the fact that its in an industrial waste area on top of I95.)
Whenever a developer uses the word "Affordable" its time to start organizing Taxpayer protests. The very word "Affordable" is code for we are going to "Rake The Milford Taxpayers Over The Coals."
How so one may be wondering? Well lets start by saying that Milford has more affordable property than any city I personally ever lived in in the past. All one has to do is look at the real estate transfers over the last few years and you will see how many properties sold for around $200,000.00. Take this figure, add the $8,000.00 home owner credit, a super low interest rate, and amortize it over 30 years, and that home payment is around $1,000.00-$1,500.00. This is very affordable, especially since the manager of a Dunkin Donuts makes about twice that in a month.
So what is with the shady construction project called "Rolling Meadows?" To begin, unless this is a HUD subsidized housing project or under the scrutiny of the city of Milford (Like Jagoe Court, or DeMaio Court) the term "Affordable" is really nothing more than a "con man's pitch."
Hopefully the people in Zoning and planning, and the Zoning board of appeals will know the truth about this development and its inherent characteristics of a 28 unit negative income property. For those of you who do not know what that is, simply put its a two fold attack on Milford's residents or a tax increase combined with cluster housing and congestive living.
David Sulkis, our Milford City Planner, pointed out that "State law says that you can't utilize industrial land for affordable housing, so in effect, they want to change the use of the industrial land,"
Lois D'Amato has been fighting with the city to get this burdensome clustered development approved, but thus far has lost his case before the Zoning Board of Appeals who denied him an easement through the neighboring industrial park.
Sadly, this project is very close to being worked out, and if it is approved it could bring upward of 20-40 new kids into the already struggling school district. These kids will cost the city an additional $500,000.00 in educational costs. This number does not include the garbage pick up to this location, or the "wear and tear" costs that are aggregate to the tax base, like sewer maintenance, emergency services, and road repair.
Even in the best case scenario, 30 units with an estimated $4,000.00 in tax each will net the city $120,000.00 leaving a projected $400,000.00 "gaping tax hole in the city budget." For this reason alone, this should be considered the wrong kind of development for our city. Anyone at Zoning and Planning who even considers approving this project may just as well vote for a Tax increase on the majority of citizens here in Milford who oppose this kind of costly development.
The city of Milford has no shortage of affordable housing, if anything we need larger lots and more sustainable properties. The Environmental Concerns Coalition, and Smart Growth initiatives have already made several presentations to the municipalities on how best to create a sustainable community. I would highly recommend that this project be "nixed" or at the very least downsized to 500-700SF one bedroom and Studio Apartments if it is to exist in its current form and honestly be "affordable" to those who need it most... 18-30 year olds or seniors.
The site in question is 183 Quarry Rd. (90 Heenan Drive)