FAQ: Your Important Questions Answered

While we at Weston Senior Living believe strongly in the vision to create a special place for Weston’s seniors to call home, and we hope to gain your support, we recognize that you may have questions and concerns. as we hear those concerns we will answer your important questions here, and make sure that we are achieving our goals of transparency and integrity in this process.

The effort to bring purpose-built homes for Weston’s seniors comes from a partnership between two Westonites with a shared vision to respect all generations in our town, and a personal goal to have great relations between their own parents and their school-age children.

Jess DiPasquale has been a fixture in town for 23 years. He currently is well-known for his service to the town as a Police Commissioner, where he is responsible for helping to maintain Weston’s high quality of life. As a member of the Weston Kiwanis, Weston Historical Society, and many other town organizations, Jess has put a premium on service to the community he calls home. He is CEO of the Alliance Group, a Westport-based Telecommunications company. Jess and his wife, Andrea have five children who have all attended Weston Schools with three children still in the School system. Jess plans to retire in Weston when all of the children are finished with School.

Joseph Lipton has worked on hundreds of successful real estate projects, bringing value to owners while respecting the current neighbors. These developments have ranged in size from NYC high-rise office buildings in Midtown, to luxury residential enclaves on the coast of Maine. Joe lives in Weston his wife, Florencia, two young sons, and his mother-in-law.

Both Jess and Joe are “active adults” themselves, as they are both over 55 years old. They believe, wholeheartedly, that valuing our eldest generation is the key to a dynamic community with a rich history and a strong future.

We want to develop a purpose-built community for active adults, aged 55+, with distinguished and thoughtful architectural features blending seamlessly into the rural, yet sophisticated feel Weston has evolved into over the decades.

We envision homes where owners have neighbors when they need them, and privacy when they please.

We are building worry-free homes close to all of the important places and people in life, without the hassle and high costs that come from maintaining a detached, four-season home.

In order to build our proposed development, we have asked the Town to approve a new zone called the Active Adult Community District. Properties eligible for this new zone MUST:

  • Be on 15 or more acres
  • On a State Road (Rt 53, 57) with at least 50’ Frontage
  • Each unit will be no larger than 2,000 sq ft
  • Ownership will be restricted to those over 55 years of age

The Weston Forum editorial summed it up well in favor of the concept of creating a special place for Weston’s seniors to live. Read it here:  http://www.thewestonforum.com/59754/editorial-senior-housing/

We want to assure you that there is no such intention or effect. To make absolutely sure, we spoke with a prominent land-use attorney who deals with these issues in the towns in lower Fairfield County, John Fallon, to help us form our plans.

John examined Weston’s current zoning regulations, as well as the language of the proposed amendment, and he let us know that the Active Adult Community District we are proposing is very specifically limited to properties over 15 acres on a state road with age-restricted living. This means that the permitted uses for 2-acre residential lots remain the same and the 2-acre minimum is still in force where it was before the amendment. This special district for our seniors does not negate the zoning that characterizes our town.

In fact, even if the zoning amendment were approved, we will still have to apply for a Special Permit Use with a public hearing before the Planning & Zoning Commission, based on the actual nature of our specific project in that District. This means that any other properties which happen to meet the Adult Active Community District zoning criteria could NOT, as of right, go forward with a project without similar permits, procedures, and a public hearing.

Furthermore, any other future zoning proposals would each be decided on their own merits as they have been before. This new District for seniors does not, John assures us based on the law, create a “slippery slope” for undesirable land uses in the future. The unreasonable fear of the these hypothetical issues should not keep Weston from achieving our strategic vision which, in the Town Strategic Plan, includes a special place to retain our senior citizens seeking to downsize and remain in town.

It doesn’t change anything about the zoning of your home, access to roads, or services.

For neighbors of the proposed project (houses within 500 feet of the Phillips Farm property), we have already begun the process of reaching out directly to make sure their concerns are heard and addressed.

No, this new District for seniors does not, based on the law, create a “slippery slope” for undesirable land uses in the future. Any other future zoning proposals would each be decided on their own merits as they have been before. The unreasonable fear of the these hypothetical issues should not keep Weston from achieving our strategic vision which, in the Town Strategic Plan, includes a special place to retain our senior citizens seeking to downsize and remain in town.

The homes in this new community will use a septic system and leach field like most homes in Weston. However, the system will be approved by the State of CT Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection, whose strict guidelines and procedures will be adhered to by all parties involved. Any impacts will be fully studied and made public.

At this point, and subject to revision through the approval processes, here is what is planned:

  • 36 single-floor units from 1,800-2,000 sq ft with 1-2 private garage spaces.
  • These units will be distributed equally in 6 buildings that look like colonial-style single homes, but with elevators and common lobbies.
  • The buildings will meet current town height restrictions, with pitched roofs, similar to most homes in Weston
  • The units will have luxury finishes and appliances, mobility-friendly features, and access to private outdoor space.

Not on your life! We live here too and this project will be part of our legacy in town. We will be working with the best architects, engineers, designers, contractors, and craftsmen to make absolutely sure that this new senior community is high-quality, attractive addition to Weston’s varied landscape, blending seamlessly into the rural, yet sophisticated style the town is known for. This includes:

  • Making sure the buildings are properly scaled to their site
  • Each main building (6 total, housing approximately 6 units each) will appear as a single-family home.
  • The details and color scheme will blend harmoniously with the surroundings while varying enough to avoid “sameness.”
  • The buildings will be beautifully finished on all sides to give an attractive appearance for neighbors and visitors alike.
  • They will have colonial design with modern amenities, like most homes in town.
  • The driveways, paths, and grounds will be well-planned, and the physical materials top-notch. Owners will be proud of their homes and the town will be proud to have them.
  • To the extent feasible, we plan to retain and refurbish certain historical structures on the property as a visual and useful reminder of the Phillips Farm legacy.
  • There will be a pond with walkways as part of the proposed development.

The homes are envisioned as owned units with a condominium financial structure. In other words, residents will own their own single-story unit within a house-like structure and a proportional percentage of the underlying and common property. Owners will pay taxes to the town on the value of their property and a common fee to the homeowners association.

While it is too early in the process to give exact figures, our goal is to have a price range centered in the min $600K’s for each high quality, 2,000 SF home, 1-2 indoor garage spaces, and access to community amenities.

No, there are neither maximum, nor minimum, income requirements to purchase a home in the proposed development. The only qualification is age-based.

No, this zoning and this project are for Active Adults, 55 and older, who are looking for a fully independent community in Weston.

Nothing. There are no costs to the Town in the proposal. The developers will bear the burden of all construction, environmental and site work. The new owners will pay proportional property taxes on their units to the Town. In fact, based on the current scope of the project, there will be much more total tax revenue than if the property were developed into 6-7 single-family homes and a huge amount more than the tiny revenue currently generated by the non-working farm.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no general tax break for residents over 65 years of age in Weston. There are several programs, however, based on income, net worth, and years of residence that the town decides on an application-by-application basis. The program specifically targeting the Elderly with limited incomes are administered by the Tax Collector’s office and you can call 203-222-2696 for details.

We have hired a top traffic analyst to study any impacts to local traffic patterns and we will present the full findings to the town. We do not foresee any appreciable changes to how folks use the roads in town when the project is complete and we do not envision any major closures or hazards being created by the construction.

A cheeky definition of a “developer” is someone else who is building something you don’t like.

Every home we have in our town was “developed” by someone, whether a farmer in the 1800s or a professional builder of multiple houses in modern times. Some of our streets are developments in the traditional sense, with all houses built at the same general time by a single company, and others have evolved one house at a time. All of these homes were built to meet new needs, and they generated profits for the professionals involved in creating them, if done well. In general, our town has retained a sophisticated, rural feel throughout the decades.

As a result of confusion, imagination, or, unfortunately, deliberate misinformation there are many conflicting accounts of our motives, plans, and potential impacts to the town. We are trying our best to be completely transparent about what we are proposing and we will engage with all reasonable questions or criticisms (use the Contact form to tell us directly) as we participate in the public process necessary to complete our proposal.

The latest and most complete information on this project will always be on WestonSeniors.com so please check back for the latest developments, or sign-up to hear directly from us on any major updates.