Stonegate Village residents were relieved Thursday when the Zoning Commission approved their landlord’s application to convert their age-restricted community to an affordable housing development under the condition that age restriction stands.
“It’s going well for us,” said Stonegate Village resident Barbara Choate. “I feel very positive about this.”
Stonegate Village residents clapped after the decision was announced and left the room with their arms around each other.
for a zoning text change to include affordable housing units, which would open up the development to younger (or just more) people.
and said that they bought into the 55-plus community for their own health and wellbeing. Stonegate Village residents are locked into long-term leases and were concerned that the affordable housing units would decrease their own property value.
for their respective positions and during the last public hearing, an attorney for the applicant said the application should be based on its strength as a zone change request and issues related to the federal housing laws and leases of the residents should be disregarded.
But on Thursday, members of the commission disagreed and took the position that the Fair Housing Act is a matter they may legally consider and it provides the foundation needed to retain the age restriction.
The commission wrote that “the need to protect elderly residents in such communities is embodied in the Fair Housing Act amendment as an affirmative right and is supported as a health and safety basis in the record of the enactment.”
And, many of the commission’s 27 conditions of approval provide explicit guidelines and standards for the incoming affordable housing units, which ensure that the units are comparable to the market rate housing units in every way.
Choate said that her home is "top of the line" and the largest in the community.
"As long as they don't put in junk homes, I'm fine with it."
Fred Lewis, another Stonegate Village resident, said the long list of regulations provided for the affordable housing units was probably something the residents could live with.